- They are measurable
- They have a due date
- They are realistic
- They are broken down into easy-to-manage steps
Here's what always happens to me: I should organize the linen closet in the guest bathroom. Well I might as well organize the linen closet in the hallway too... well if I'm going to put some of this stuff in the master bathroom I better clean out that one, too. Man these closets shouldn't be so full I need to purge everything! If I'm going to make a trip to Goodwill I better just sort every cupboard in the entire house. And then I'm overwhelmed.
A similar thing happens when I decide to paint something. Recently, it was: If we're moving our master bedroom around and painting it I might as well paint the trim. Well I better paint the trim in the master bath, too. While the tape and paint is out I guess I'll do the guest bathroom. Well now that I'm done with the upstairs I better just paint all the trim downstairs....
It's a slippery slope, people! Does anyone else feel this way? I find that since I obviously can't tackle these things in one day I at least need to get my thoughts out somewhere. So, I'll usually do one of two things. I'll grab a notepad and jot down all the to-dos I suddenly have in my head. OR! I'll flip to the short- and long-term sections of my planner and add to the list. I can brain dump all my DIY dreams onto paper and clear up some space in my head rather than just feeling overwhelmed by it.
We know that projects and goals are successful when:
Once I've picked one project to tackle, I can then use my planner or a notepad. Currently my "project" is PURGING. I've already done this once or twice since we've moved and I find that each time I go through everything I feel less sentimental or less convinced that I'll actually use an item and am able to get rid of more. The hope is that eventually I can maintain and bring less in and/or get rid of something when something new comes in. We're trying to simplify our lives a bit, and I find that I am overwhelmed and less happy when my house is filled and cluttered. So, I'm aiming for Cozy Minimalism and I'd like this major clearing to be done by the end of July. Not the trendy minimalism that quickly becomes "I'm better than you because I need less" but just getting rid of all the unnecessary stuff. But my shifting mentality is for another time...
Back to my purging project. As great as it'd be to just send the kids away and lock myself in the house until every room is clean, it's just not reality. We have other obligations, chores, and fun things going on! So, I need to prioritize my time. This time I listed out every single storage area of our house (and yes I added ones to my list that I had already completed just so I could check them off).
Then, I got out my planner. In the Big 3 area I just wrote "PURGE!" Then, I assigned a few areas to a few days when I know I'd have time. This will take me some time to get through, but at least I now have a measurable, tangible goal each day. If I complete more areas, great! But otherwise I have my minimum to complete.
I recently updated our basement playroom/bar area and went about it in the same way. I broke down a project like painting the cupboards to small tasks like: Tape off the cupboards, clean the cupboards, paint them, add handles, etc. Seems silly since we know those are the steps, but it gave me something tangible to check off each day and progress forward.
I love that my planner allows me to give myself tasks and feel successful each day, but gives me the room and flexibility to move stuff around as needed. Amber originally had the idea for the "Big 3" and it's such a useful section for prioritizing tasks each week. I love that I can leave my planner open on the counter and check in on things.
What are you working on lately? How do you take on large tasks?