Goal Setting, Organization

Easy Organizing: Small Projects, Many Wins!

Organized display

Getting organized is one of the top 10 most common goals every year and for good reason: everything is easier when you’re organized.

But we often tackle huge projects and end up with a bigger mess and more disorganization than we started with. Getting organized is a messy process. You pull stuff out, sort it into piles, and often get side-tracked or overwhelmed in the process. It takes a lot of self-discipline to work through the messy stages of sorting, organizing, and cleaning up of a big project to achieve the satisfaction of a well-organized space.

Instead of tackling a big organizing project like your garage, closet, office, or kid’s playroom, make it easy and go small.

Set yourself up for small wins and bask in the glow of accomplishment. Make it so easy to get organized and get the win that you can’t wait to get started. You’ll want to keep tackling the small projects because it’s easy and being organized feels sooooo good!

Here are some ideas for easy wins to help you get started. You can always tackle several projects, one after another, but you must complete one organizing task before starting another one. Remember, cleaning up and putting things where they belong is part of the task.

Tidy Up:

  • Straighten up one room.
  • Clean off your desk.
  • Straighten up your fridge or freezer.
  • Empty all wastebaskets.
  • Clear off one surface.
  • Make your bed.
  • Put away one pile of stuff.
  • Restore order in one small space.
  • Clean out your car.
  • Put your Christmas things away. Do it in chunks if it’s a big job.
  • Do one complete load of laundry: wash, dry, fold, put away.

Declutter:

  • Ask yourself these four questions:
  • Do you need it? Do you use it? Do you love it? What’s the worst thing that could possibly happen if you got rid of it and can you live with that?
  • Grab a bag and gather 27 things you can throw away or donate. Flylady calls this the 27-fling boogie!

Organize:

  • Organize one drawer, shelf, or cabinet.
  • Sort one small pile of paperwork.
  • Set up a donation box. As you come across things to donate, put them in the box.
  • Turn your hangers around in your closet. As you wear things, put them back the right way. After a few months you’ll have a good idea what you wear and what you don’t.
  • Make a meal plan for the week.
  • Check your fridge, freezer, and pantry then add necessary ingredients to your grocery list.

If tackling even a small project still feels daunting, try these tips to make it more fun and doable:

  • Put on some uplifting music.
  • Set a timer.
  • Don’t pull out more than you can put back away in 15 minutes.
  • Make a game of it.
  • Set a reward for finishing the task.
  • Focus on how good it will feel to have one small, organized space.

PremoPro tip: Organize paperwork when your energy and focus are high. Each piece of paper represents a decision and decision fatigue can quickly set in!

What easy organizing task can you finish today?

Action Planning, Business Productivity, Daily Routines & Rituals, Managing Distractions, Personal Productivity, Process Improvement, Task Management, Time blocking, Time Management

Do You Struggle with Time Blocking?

Has this ever happened to you? You started the day motivated, full of good intentions to get a lot accomplished, but nothing got done. You let another productive day slip away.

It’s not easy to keep yourself disciplined and focused on your most important work, especially when you are only accountable to yourself. Interruptions, notifications, email, and interesting information steal our focus and time. It happens to the best of us. How can you stay focused and on task to get your most important work done?

The answer is time blocking.

I mentioned this to a client who said, “I suck at time blocking. But go ahead, let’s talk about it.”

Time blocking is NOT scheduling every minute of your day.

Time blocking is setting aside time on your calendar to do your most important work. It’s simple. Block out a chunk of time to work on your top priority and just do it.

Blocking the time is easy. Doing the right thing during that time isn’t always so easy. So what do you do?

Get crystal clear on the task to be performed during the time block. You want to sit down and do the work, not spend the whole time figuring out what to do. Be specific enough to act.

Protect the time. For real. If this is truly your most important work, silence your phone, shut the door, close open tabs, and eliminate distractions. Put a sign on your door if necessary. No, you don’t have a sec. You want to get in the zone and stay there. The rest of it can wait.

Schedule the right amount of time. Don’t automatically default to a 30-minute or one-hour time block, especially if the task is small. Your most important work may be a 15-minute task. Remember Parkinson’s Law: work expands (or contracts) to fill the time available. Conversely, your most important work may be a bigger project. Break it down into manageable pieces and time block the pieces. Or set a longer time-block and take short breaks to stay fresh, then get back to work.

Don’t time block everything. Time blocking isn’t the same as scheduling. Sure, might have a general plan for batching phone calls, checking email, working on a marketing piece, etc. When everything’s important, nothing’s important.  

Try this tomorrow. Review your priorities and block time to do your most important work. It will take repeated practice to make this a habit, but it’s the repeated action that leads to results.