The short space of time I spent sorting stuff in the basement between wash cycles set in motion a new habit I'm trying to cultivate: tackling one of those "something I've been meaning to do" items or projects each day.
Since I started this new endeavor about a week ago, I've tackled small things (making a phone call, writing an e-mail, stitching up a hole in an article of clothing), medium-sized things (dropping off donations, making a decision) and big things (re-organizing my closet, updating the system I use to keep the information for one of my classes in order). And you know what?
It feels good.
I've even clipped a pen onto my wall calendar so I can easily jot down what I've tackled. Big tasks (the closet re-organization took up a big chunk of a weekend afternoon) sometimes give me a free pass for the next day, and small tasks sometimes get me on a roll so that several get completed in one day. Jotting them down gives me a dose of positive reinforcement -- a reminder of all I'm getting done and a nudge to keep at it.
The rewards come in other ways, too. Every time I open my closet and things are where they belong, rather than in a between-seasons jumble, I feel a little bit of stress leave my body. Not only did re-arranging things leave the small space feeling better organized, but it made it feel a little bigger as well. Best of all, I'm not reminded every time I open the closet that "I need to do something about this."
I'm not keeping a list of jobs to tackle -- at least not one specific to this project -- but I when I find myself looking at a space in my home and thinking, "I need to do something about this," or copying the same item onto a new to-do list more than once, I know I've got a contender.
My new plan doesn't keep me from procrastinating, but by Taking small steps, I'm transforming my house step-by-step, one item (or project) at a time.