Are you a gambler? Do the words “double or nothing” strike fear in your heart or get it racing with excitement? If you tend to think in extremes (all or nothing, black or white, this or that) you might also struggle with getting organized because you might be under the impression that you have to start and finish a project all at once.
Your all or nothing perception may skew your relationship with time to the point that you put off tasks until later because you imagine you don't have time to do them now. If that sounds like you, I have some news you'll be happy to hear.
It's a lie.
You don't have to tackle every organizing project all at once. It’s possible to do large projects in stages without it being chaotic in the middle. Whether it’s a one-time event like cleaning out the garage or recurring tasks like housekeeping or laundry, the key to getting things done is breaking large tasks and projects down into easy-to-tackle micro-tasks.
Instead of dreading organizing your entire office, try only cleaning out one desk drawer and stop. Instead of cleaning your whole house, nibble at it every few days. Getting into the habit of doing micro-tasks has two benefits:
- You get into action, which often inspires MORE action right away.
- You accomplish something. Even if it's only a small portion of a larger task or project. You can check something off your list!
There are lots of “life maintenance” micro-tasks around your home and office that require just a tiny chunk of time to complete. Here are ten 5-minute ideas to get you started:
- Leave an after-hours voicemail message for a colleague or client.
- Create and schedule e-cards for all of next month’s birthdays on your list.
- Put one load of laundry into the washer or dryer.
- Empty or load the dishwasher.
- Put a meal into the slow cooker.
- Sort a stack of business cards, tossing the ones you don't need anymore.
- Spray and wipe the bathroom sink and mirror.
- Pick up toys in the family room and put them away.
- Clean out your refrigerator.
- Sort a pile of mail.
If you leave large or recurring tasks until you have enough time to complete them start to finish, they'll likely never get done. Nibbling away at a project in small manageable pieces is a good way to start your momentum. Also, start doing the micro-tasks you can do NOW in the moment so you won’t have to do them later. Now that you know the benefit of micro-tasking, which ones will you tackle this weekend?