Don’t look up…..

I go walking with a girlfriend a few mornings a week. We move at a good pace and about half way through we start our journey up a pretty impressive hill. The sidewalk looms ahead of us and doesn’t appear to end. My heart sinks in despair and I begin to drag my feet. As I look ahead at the distance we still have to go I quickly become discouraged and tired. My girlfriend takes the stroller from me half way up to give me a break and eventually we arrive at the top. It feels like it took forever.

Then last week as we started the trek up the hill I got so engrossed in the conversation we were having that I was completely taken by surprise when I realized we’d already reached the top. My girlfriend said to me “look at that, I didn’t even have to take the stroller for you this time”. She was right and I wasn’t even as tired as I usually am. I thought about it for a few moments and it occurred to me that I had been so focused on our conversation that I didn’t have a chance to dwell on what was still to come. I’d kept my eyes down and stayed focused in the moment and not beyond that. What a difference!

If you think about it organizing is very similar to this. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed and discouraged by all we have to do that we simply drag our feet and do nothing. We look around at our spaces and think I’m never going to get to the end. It’s frustrating and draining when the task ahead seems to be more than we can handle.

However today I want to encourage you to keep your eyes down, focusing only on the task at hand. Don’t let the “hill” keep you from taking the necessary steps to move forward. If you are looking at a room that you want to organize, start with a drawer, move to the next drawer, work your way around the room one step at a time.

Just don’t look up, keep moving and before you know it you’ll be at the top giving yourself a pat on the back. You’ll look back on the path you traveled and feel mighty proud of yourself.

And so you should.

You did it!

Filed under: Motivation-Encouragement, Organizing


52 Responses to Don’t look up…..

  1. 1
    AmyDe says

    I SO needed this post today. Thank you!

  2. 2
    Katrina (Callapidder says

    Great advice, Laura! I’m working through our storage room this summer, and it *is* overwhelming… But step by step, box by box, I’ll get through it.

  3. 3
    Debi says

    Oh Laura, that’s such good advice for all those “mountains” in our lives! Perfect timing for this post. Seriously, thank you!

  4. 4
    Angie says

    This is just the motivation I needed to tackle my horrendously cluttered living room. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. 5
    Harmony says

    Thank you for this post, for me, it was at just the right time. I got all inspired by reading your blog a few months back and went crazy organizing and got a few rooms done. But I kind of burned out and got overwhelmed when I saw how much more I have to do. I am encouraged by the progress I’ve made and this post has encouraged me to keep going at it and to just take it bit by bit until it is done. Thanks again!

  6. 6
    Tanna says

    So true!! I do this when riding my bike as well. There is this monstrous hill we come across and as long as i don’t look up I am fine. I used to have to push my bike up because I would lose the momentum.

    Baby steps! Worry about the task at hand and before you know it you will be at the top of your hill!

  7. 7
    Dawn says

    I have been feeling really overwhelmed about my house lately and haven’t been doing anything. I just sit and stare at it. I really needed this advice today and I’m going to jump start myself today and get organizing. Thanks.

  8. 8
    FishMama says

    Thanks for some great inspiration!

  9. 9
    Thea @ I'm a Drama M says

    I couldn’t agree more. I have a really bad tendency to shut down when there is too much to do. But yesterday, I put on my iPod instead, and got so engrossed with bopping to the music that I didn’t even realize that I was cleaning way more than I usually do!

  10. 10
    Avlor says

    I needed to hear this today, too. Thank you.

    I have so many things going on this week and next. Just have to keep working at them and not think about everything all at once.

  11. 11
    Tina says

    Did you peek in my house or something?! Thank you for the timely and wonderful post! I will take your advice!

  12. 12
    momrn2 says

    What a fantastic word picture! This can apply to so many things in life!! Thanks for the challenge and encouragement!

  13. 13
    Laura says

    Great motivation and encouraging post. Yes, I plan to tackle the kids play room maybe today.

  14. 14
    Mikki says

    Great post!

  15. 15
    Jenn says

    Thanks that was great!

  16. 16
    Angela says

    Great post – and very applicable as I clean pre-vacation today and pack tomorrow.

  17. 17
    Jacqueline says

    Thank you, Laura, for sharing your wisdom with us! As Avior commented, I also have a tendency to think about everything that needs to be done and it seems insurmountable, so what do I do? Nothing! Focusing on and completing one task at a time is what leads to results. As other readers have commented, your post today was just the vision that we needed to move forward. Thanks again!

  18. 18
    R says

    Great advice, and what a fabulous image to keep in mind, whether for decluttering the house or losing the weight I need to lose. One step at a time. I can’t just look at the destination – I have to focus on the journey. Thank you.

  19. 19
    Neek says

    What a great way to think about climbing our own moutains. Thanks for a different view!

  20. 20
    Renee says

    Great post! Organizing dilema right now after pairing more toys down with the four children is what to do with at least 5 wooden puzzles the ones that are wood and have the wooden pieces care to share on the best way to prganize them with me? I am drawing a blank at this point.

    Thank you,
    Mama to four

  21. 21
    Nancy says

    Thanks so much! I had a HUGE cleaning/organizing task ahead of me today and needed to hear that!

  22. 22
    Diane says

    So true Laura . I watched an organzing show and what they did was cleaned a small area so they could see some progress first. The room was a disaster! The thing to do was to just get started and not be overwhelmed of where to start.
    Baby steps just do something first! Begin is all that you have to do.

  23. 23
    Suzanne says

    This was fantastic, thanks! It is great advice for every area of our life where we might struggle–weight loss, organizing, exercising, etc.

    Just today I had my own experience like this. I am expanding the jogging portion of my walk/jog routine (3xWk). It felt impossible to go as far as I did on Monday (Day 1 of the expansion) all the way and I was ready to stop and walk. So, I just started talking myself through it and did not look at how far away the checkpoint was that I said I had to reach at the minimum (a compromise to my tired self).

    Before I knew it, I had made it past the compromise checkpoint, past Day 1’s checkpoint and to the checkpoint I had wanted to reach today.

    Wow, it feels amazing to not look up until you are at the top!

  24. 24
    Jamie says

    I read someplace that when women listen to music while exercising or exercise with a friend are more likely to exercise longer, and have less aches and pains. Interesting! 🙂

  25. 25
    Ronda Baer says

    You completely inpired me to clean the office. I thank you, and everyone at Baerc Construction thanks you!

  26. 26
    Sandra says

    Great post Laura and so inspiring 🙂


  27. 27
    ter says

    Laura, you hit the nail on the head. That is SO me. I get so overwhelmed with a project that I give up and then nothing is resolved. Thanks for once again showing me that I’m not the only one!

  28. 28
    Scratchin' the Surfa says

    Great advice, that can be applied to almost anything, dieting, working on a marrige issue, schooling, whatever the task, head down, keep on going!

  29. 29
    Andronica says

    I have been lingering at this website for a couple of months now and this post compelled me to answer and become involved. This is exactly what I needed today as I look at each room needing *drastic action*. It seems very overwhelming today…it is not my fault…they out number me 3 (kids) to one (me). LOL It is comforting to know others have the same organizing problems I do and we can all feel comfortable to share our trials and triumphs here. Thank you Organizing Junkie for giving me a place to be inspired and keep what really matters in perspective.

  30. 30
    Princess Momma says

    I really needed this reminder today. Time to get off my butt and to work on just one pile.

  31. 31
    MozzarElla says

    What a great analogy! A perfect picture for those of us who need to have a vision!

    Thank you!

  32. 32
    evelyn says

    Have you ever read “Momo” by Michael Ende? It’s a great kid’s book – but for adults, too. Beppo the streetsweeper has the same approach: when he has to sweep a veeeery long street, he doesn’t think about the length of the entire street, just about the next step and the next sweep. And suddenly – he’s done.
    I love that book – your post reminded me of it, thanks for that! And have fun walking with your friend! 😉

  33. 33
    Beth says

    I feel the same way on my treadmill. If I look at how much time is left sometimes I get discouraged. But if I focus on the music and my breathing, I can get through it. I should try my iPod while I clean. I know the music makes getting dinner ready easier!

    I am really enjoying your blog!

  34. 34
    Mrs. Wilson says

    Thanks Laura! That inspires me to get packing …

  35. 35
    Kimco says

    You are gifted my friend! I love this post….and it is one of the things I love about you. Your insight and inspiration astound me and remind me of how blessed I am to know you. I love the way to took this experience of the hill and turned it into an opportunity to teach, encourage, and motivate others. I know you have such a genuine heart and such a passion to want to help others, and it is obvious that you DO! I hope you know how special you are! Kim (from NL)

  36. 36
    Tracy says

    Thank you for this post! This is what I needed to hear! I have been so discouraged by the mountain before me….. wow.

  37. 37
    Elaine says

    That is just so very true to more of our lives than we like to admit. I certainly needed to read this.

  38. 38
    Cherie says

    ahhh yes! you know i was only thinking last night how amazed i was by what i achieved yesterday. (im just getting into the swing of organization and LOVING every bit of it!) i was doing dishes and thinking how instead of looking at everything and thinking just how bad the house had got blah blah blah- i focused on the one task. i wanted to get the books and book case sorted. that was done so i set myself the goals to get the dishes done, tidy the bench and put the 4 (easy enough) puzzles back together that my twins pulled apart earlier that day. i achieved it all and you know what? i was able to go to bed feeling PROUD instead of feeling down on myself for all that i didnt get done. im learning to just focus on the one space or room. as i look at the room i now say “ok what doesnt belong here?” instead of freaking out and wondering where to start. then as i put the things into the other rooms- i dont then get sidetracked by what needs doing there- i just go back to the original task and tackle it til its done. the other rooms now dont get started or stressed about until the current task is complete. sounds so easy but it doesnt come naturally to me. (being organized) i raised that it all got done at once. the dishes got left til last thing- after dinner. the housework was done on weekends. im slowly learning to do a little each day- and feel better for it! thank you thank you thank you! yu are blessing to me!

  39. 39
    Anna says

    Thanks so much, it’s like you are reading my mind, lol

  40. 40
    Jennifer Clark says

    Thank you for the great advise … so very relevant 😀

    Happy New Year 2010 !

  41. 41
    Petula says

    This is a very encouraging post. I wrote next to my notes about organizing my space: “Stay focused on the moment.” I am definitely feeling some ( a lot ) of anxiety about getting this project completed. I think that because I have no budget for it that it will never look like I want it to and never be the space I want and envision. With a deep breath I am going to give it my best!

  42. 42
    Jill says

    Fantastic post, I’ll be remembering this! ?

  43. 43
    Krista says

    This same kind of thinking helps a lot in labor, too, if anyone out there is pregnant. (My births were natural) Just stay focused in the present. You only have to survive the next ten seconds. Try counting out loud through each contraction. This is the best way to keep your head, and not freak out or get overwhelmed with fear or anxiety… 🙂

    Our house is a total disaster right now. Our whole family has to learn new habits and we have to try to pull it together, but I know we have to move one little step at a time and make some real habits and stick with them. I definitely can’t look up right now!

  44. 44
    Rebekah says

    Awesome post! I so needed to read this. Thank you so much!

    • 44.1
      Laura says

      You are welcome Rebekah!


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