Advertising
Advertising

Productivity & Organizing Myth #8 – Getting Organized Takes Too Long

Productivity & Organizing Myth #8 – Getting Organized Takes Too Long
Watch

    Myth: Getting organized requires so much time that you won’t be productive while getting organized. There’s too much to do to bother getting organized.
    Reality: Looks can be deceiving. The project might be substantial but you can do it! As the Question goes, “How do you eat an elephant?” Answer, “One bite at a time.”

    Here are two proven ways to tackle a substantial organizing project. One, hold daily sessions. Two, make a day of it.

    Advertising

    If you choose to hold daily sessions, have ones that are relatively brief. You can do anything for 15 minutes right? You probably find this is particularly true when there is a reward at the end of the time block. This approach to getting organized will accomplish the goal over time. Taking a month or two to get organized is a good way to develop new skills, standard operating procedures, and habits. As an encouragement: clutter and disorganization occurred over time and reversing that can take time.

    I suggest you have a portable timer that you set for 15 minutes as you get started. The timer has a few great benefits:

    Advertising

    • It will help you to know the limit of your block of time, that you only have 15 minutes to spend on this or that.
    • That you can do anything for 15 minutes
    • That once your 15 minutes is up you might be encouraged to do another since ‘that went so fast’.
    • It will help you stay on task. Decluttering and organizing are your only activity for the brief amount of time – 15 minutes that the timer is running.

    Daily sessions, every day, are the key to this approach. It is most successful when you do a session every day because your efforts will compound and the impact become more and more vivid. You will keep a momentum that will carry you through to completion. And, staying organized will be a natural extension of your efforts. Additionally, by approaching getting organized with daily session, you will probably not impact the typical flow of activities you are responsible to complete.

    If you choose to make a day of it (getting organized) you will see great impact in a relatively short amount of time. This approach is for those who like a big challenge and have the motivation and endurance to stay with the project. You need to be able to put everything on hold so you can give your full attention to decluttering and organizing. Think of suspending things as what would happen if you needed a sick day. Calls, returning emails, and doing the work would have to wait until tomorrow. If you seem to allow distractions to keep you from devoting a full day, revert to daily sessions or multiple partial days.

    Advertising

    On your day have all the supplies you need from trash bags to file folders available at the outset. Be sure you’ve eaten well. Take a moment to picture how terrific things will look when well ordered and efficiently laid out. Invite someone to be around. The benefits of someone assisting you are:

    • His or her being there will keep you reminded of the job at hand.
    • You can share the excitement of progress.
    • You will talk through the difficult decisions together.
    • Your partner in organizing will encourage your tossing and recycling.
    • You may celebrate the accomplishments at the end of the day.
    • By explaining what you’re doing and why now & then, you are creating a reliable standard operating procedure that you’ll carry into the future.

    Then, steadily work from one area to the next. Do not put anything aside for later decisions…

    Advertising

    Then, steadily work from one area to the next such as your desktop to filing drawers, to stuff on the floor. Do not put anything aside for later decision. Keep progressing and clearing.

    Take a look at this before and after photos of significant project:

    Printer Area Before
      Printer Area After

        Previous Myths:

        Susan Sabo is an intrepid traveler who has organized her life to be out of the country for months at a time. She’s visited South & Central America, Europe, Asia, ‘Down Under” and traveled across North America. Susan writes at www.productivitycafe.com, consults with professionals on improving their personal productivity and presents motivating productivity programs & tips (such as how to get ready for the busy season) to groups.

        More by this author

        Productivity & Organizing Myth #5 – the right planner (tool) is all you need Put yourself on the line Working at Night is for Raccoons – Not You! Where You Are Depends on How You Look at Things How to Use a Notebook to Make 2008 the Best Year Ever

        Trending in Featured

        1 8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times 2 Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect 3 Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide) 4 How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone 5 The Science of Setting Goals (And Its Effect on Your Brain)

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on May 12, 2020

        8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times

        8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times

        Many of us find ourselves in motivational slumps that we have to work to get out of. Sometimes it’s like a continuous cycle where we are motivated for a period of time, fall out and then have to build things back up again.

        There is nothing more powerful for self-motivation than the right attitude. You can’t choose or control your circumstance, but you can choose your attitude towards your circumstances.

        How I see this working is while you’re developing these mental steps, and utilizing them regularly, self-motivation will come naturally when you need it.

        The key, for me, is hitting the final step to Share With Others. It can be somewhat addictive and self-motivating when you help others who are having trouble.

        A good way to have self motivation continuously is to implement something like these 8 steps from Ian McKenzie.[1] I enjoyed Ian’s article but thought it could use some definition when it comes to trying to build a continuous drive of motivation. Here is a new list on how to self motivate:

        1. Start Simple

        Keep motivators around your work area – things that give you that initial spark to get going.

        Advertising

        These motivators will be the Triggers that remind you to get going.

        2. Keep Good Company

        Make more regular encounters with positive and motivated people. This could be as simple as IM chats with peers or a quick discussion with a friend who likes sharing ideas.

        Positive and motivated people are very different from the negative ones. They will help you grow and see opportunities during tough times.

        Here’re more reasons why you should avoid negative people: 10 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Negative People

        3. Keep Learning

        Read and try to take in everything you can. The more you learn, the more confident you become in starting projects.

        You can train yourself to crave lifelong learning with these tips: How to Develop a Lifelong Learning Habit

        Advertising

        4. See the Good in Bad

        When encountering obstacles or challenging goals, you want to be in the habit of finding what works to get over them.

        Here are 10 tips to make positive thinking easy.

        5. Stop Thinking

        Just do. If you find motivation for a particular project lacking, try getting started on something else. Something trivial even, then you’ll develop the momentum to begin the more important stuff.

        When you’re thinking and worrying about it too much, you’re just wasting time. These tried worry busting techniques can help you.

        6. Know Yourself

        Keep notes on when your motivation sucks and when you feel like a superstar. There will be a pattern that, once you are aware of, you can work around and develop.

        Read for yourself how the magic of marking down your mood works.

        Advertising

        7. Track Your Progress

        Keep a tally or a progress bar for ongoing projects. When you see something growing, you will always want to nurture it.

        Take a look at these 4 simple ways to track your progress so you have motivation to achieve your goals.

        8. Help Others

        Share your ideas and help friends get motivated. Seeing others do well will motivate you to do the same. Write about your success and get feedback from readers.

        Helping others actually helps yourself, here’s why.

        What I would hope happens here is you will gradually develop certain skills that become motivational habits.

        Once you get to the stage where you are regularly helping others keep motivated – be it with a blog or talking with peers – you’ll find the cycle continuing where each facet of staying motivated is refined and developed.

        Advertising

        Too Many Steps?

        If you could only take one step? Just do it!

        Once you get started on something, you’ll almost always just get into it and keep going. There will be times when you have to do things you really don’t want to: that’s where the other steps and tips from other writers come in handy.

        However, the most important thing, that I think is worth repeating, is to just get started.

        Get that momentum going and then when you need to, take Ian’s Step 7 and Take A Break. No one wants to work all the time!

        More Tips for Boosting Motivation

        Featured photo credit: Japheth Mast via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Ian McKenzie: 8 mental steps to self-motivation

        Read Next