Five tips

Get more done by doing these five things.

I’ll be honest: our house has gotten pretty cluttered over the past year. Prior to COVID, one of the greatest motivators for me to stay on top of housekeeping tasks was that we regularly had people over to our home. But, the traffic into our home has slowed considerably to really just include our closest family and friends, people who pay little attention to the state of our house. 

So, we took this past weekend to go after the clutter that had accumulated in each room. It was a huge project that took an entire day with many hands, resulting in a lot of items clearing out of our home. But, as will surprise no one, the end result is so satisfying. Our living space feels lighter and calmer than it has in an age.

Typically, chasing down a project is my specialty. I’m known for being a particularly productive person. I tend to have a pretty high amount of energy, and I really enjoy getting things done. However, I really hate cleaning. So, in spite of the project being a priority, and having adequate time over the course of a week to get it done, I procrastinated. For a rare occasion, I had to consciously leverage the advice I often give to others about starting something you’re disinclined to begin. I was happy to see that it works. Here are the five things that, I believe, help you to get more accomplished:

 

Start Small

It’s easier to activate your energy around a small project than a big one. When you’re trying to accomplish a big project, the size of the task can feel daunting. But, starting small feels doable and helps your mind and body to get into gear so that the next, bigger task doesn’t feel quite as impossible. 

 

Make it Fun

The more comfortable and enjoyable you can make a project you don’t want to do, the less you’ll be tempted to stop. While I cleaned, I put in my earbuds and listened to an audiobook that I’m itching to finish. At work, I often will make sure I have a beverage, a comfortable chair, a snack, along with a playlist of music I enjoy working to in order to add to the overall experience. 

 

Write it Down

When you’re holding too many things in your mind, it can make something that’s not so inherently overwhelming incredibly stressful. Moving things from your mind into an external source allows you to dedicate your brain space only to what’s needed in the moment, not to the mental load of a dozen tasks. Plus, then you get to experience the delight of checking off a completed task.

 

Find Flow

The more you can eliminate distractions and carve out space to get into a flow state, the more likely you are to not only complete your project but also find enjoyment in the process. Flow doesn’t tolerate interruptions well, though, so throw in those earbuds, turn off notifications and focus in.

 

Delegate

If you have help, use it. Focus on the things you’re the best at, and let others come alongside and help where they’re strong. If you’ve dedicated the time to break down the project into smaller tasks, it’ll be easy to see where you can delegate things to someone else, which has the added benefit of creating an opportunity to form a deeper connection as you work together with someone on a project.

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Colleen Cook works full-time as the Director of Operations at Vinyl Marketing in Ashland, where she resides with her husband Mike and three young daughters. She's an insatiable extrovert who enjoys finding reasons to gather people.

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