Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Chipping Away

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Last week, I wrote about chipping away at a long overdue project. Since I am, by nature, a procrastinator, I have quite a few of those items and projects at my house. And, when time is limited, their number increases almost exponentially.

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.

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