Via Pixabay (2017), CC0 Public Domain
Last summer, I wrote about list-making, style-by-style
. Although it’s important to know which strategies work with our personal and organizational styles, there are some strategies that work well across the styles.
When it comes to big goals and long lists, my favorite strategies are the ones that help me acknowledge what I’ve accomplished. As busy adults, we often set aside the things we want to do in favor of the things we should do, but even the busiest among us can afford to take a few minutes to take small steps in the direction of something we want to achieve.
Here are a few strategies that help me do just that.
Big 3. This is a new approach for me, relatively speaking, born out of too many goals and too little time. Each day, I jot down three things I want to accomplish before day’s end. In order for this strategy to work well, the goals have to be medium-sized. If they’re too big, I’ll end up feeling frustrated and overwhelmed; too small and I might just miss out on that feeling of accomplishment that comes from checking them all off the list.
Give it 5.
Have an overwhelming task? Set a timer for five minutes and tackle it. You won’t finish, but you’ll make a dent, and, once you get started, you just might keep going and get more done than you expected. Getting started is often the hardest part, and promising ourselves to work for just five minutes can help us clear that hurdle.
Backwards to-do list.
Some days, we have to make a special effort to focus on our accomplishments. Those are backwards to-do list days — days when, instead of writing down what we need to do, we write down what we’ve accomplished as we accomplish it. A load of laundry in the washer? Jot it down. Dinner in the slow cooker? Add it to the list. One shelf in the closet reorganized? Write it down. At the end of the day, instead of having a partially checked-off list, we have a list of everything we’ve done. It’s a small difference in list-making that can make a big difference in motivation.
And, make no mistake, staying motivated is a key part of the process when it comes to the marathon that is getting (and staying) organized.
Copyright 2017 Lisa Hess