Did you ever notice yourself saying…
- “I should fold that laundry and put it away,”
- “I should hang up those coats,”
- “I should put those photos in an album,” or
- “I should pull those weeds?”
… and it never gets done? It seems simple but, for those who struggle with long-term disorganization, tasks like these get overwhelming and can go unfinished for weeks or months. Why is that? These tasks are examples of multi-step activities, and, for some of us, our brain is working against us. We don’t know where to start, get distracted, over-estimated the amount of time it will take (this is a big one!), and have trouble making decisions.
Yesterday I was looking for my cycling gloves and came across this “weeding routine” sheet in a drawer near my front door. I created this sheet last summer. Why? Because every time I went outside to weed I would forget something, like my phone. I use hands-free headphones and catch up with friends while I’m weeding. Really, if you get out there and have everything you need, and you are digging in the dirt on a gorgeous day and talking to someone, it really is quite pleasant and satisfying. I will post the list near my front door, which is the door I use to go to the garage to get my tools.
Here is the key:
Keep your task top of mind by posting the routine sheet right in front of you. If you don’t like lists, use pictures torn from a magazine. Anything to turn your attention to the task and the tools you will need to be successful. Is it embarrassing to have lists posted all around my house for people to see who come over to visit me? No! It works, so I do it.
Why reinvent the wheel?
Give yourself some structure by posting a sheet with your task breakdown right where you can see it. Work on it for 10 minutes or 30 minutes, daily or weekly. Successful people find accommodations – ways to complete things that are effective and make sense to them. By keeping up with routines, tasks get done and don’t deteriorate into semi-emergencies.
Are you willing to create a routine sheet for yourself today? Let me know how it goes.