52 Weeks: #24 Finish what you start

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So this week I’m going to be a little tough with you and it’s all the fault of The Bearded Iris.  Okay, okay so maybe it’s not entirely her fault but last week she did mention in her post that she was having trouble finishing the tasks she started.  She has numerous organizing projects on the go at the same time and it’s getting a little overwhelming by the sounds of it.  Maybe you can relate.

It’s very common to lose focus and get sidetracked when you are trying to do too many things at once.  You slowly get more and more depressed as the chaos gets deeper and deeper around you.  Frustrated you eventually give up because you can’t even remember where it was you started in the first place.  Put your hand up if you’ve ever felt this way.

blue sky

image credit: shutterstock

Well my friends today is a new day, hip hip hooray!!  Today’s a good day for re-grouping.  We are going to take a deep breath and FOCUS on getting some intentionality back into our 52 weeks list.  I’m here to tell you that you can do this.  Slow down and don’t get ahead of yourself.

It’s time to reel it all in by first updating your 52 weeks list if need be (if you didn’t write it in pencil then feel free to write out a new one if you like).  Take a look around your home and make adjustments as necessary to your list of the things you want to get done.  Re-prioritize as needed. Remember to assign the tasks in 15 minute manageable chunks but add them to your list in a project group.  For instance, if you need to organize your home office do NOT just write down “organize home office”.  No way girl.  Break down the necessary steps to that end result but keep them together on the list so that you can complete them all one after the other until that entire project is complete (however long it might take you).

Here’s the thing.  If you never finish something, you never get to boost your spirits by giving yourself a pat on the back.  It’s hard to keep the momentum going for sure.  FOCUS on one project at a time and celebrate it’s completion before diving into the next project.

Try not to let yourself get distracted when working on a project.  For instance, if you are cleaning off your office desk, do not start bringing things back to other rooms where they might belong.  That is a recipe for disaster because as soon as you get there you’ll see something else that needs to be done.  Have a box set up for stuff that needs to be relocated elsewhere in your house and put everything there to be put away after the task at hand.

I love this video because it’s so common to everyone isn’t it, regardless of age? I think a big part of it for many of us is just trying to do too much at one time.  Too much going on.  Slow down and focus.

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Can you relate?

Please feel free to share your organizing journey and encourage one another in the comments. You are also invited to link up to the linky below with any posts related to your 52 weeks of organizing participation or to any post of an organizing nature that you feel will inspire and encourage others in their quest to get organized. Please remember to link back to here though so we can reach out to as many people as possible in need of some inspiration.

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25 Responses to 52 Weeks: #24 Finish what you start

  1. 1
    Gabe says

    I needed this! I’ve got so many projects going and so many getting left unfinished! A few are intentionally done that way, you know two or three larger projects that I go between so that I will not get burnt out on any one. The others are just projects that I mostly finished but something distracted me at the very end and I just did not get around to finishing it for whatever reason. My house seems more cluttered in some areas than when I started the decluttering project! Hmmm…. I think I have something to work on tomorrow! Thanks!

  2. 2
    Forgetfulone says

    You are so right about feeling that sense of accomplishment when you get something finished. I’m going through my list to make sure I have things prioritized. I love to check things off my list when I’m finished!

  3. 3
    The Bearded Iris says

    Oh Laura! You are the BEST medicine. You nailed it with this post… overwhelmed and depressed is exactly how I’ve been feeling. And that video… spot on. (Still looking for my glasses, actually.)

    I absolutely LOVE the idea of redoing my list! I don’t think I ever did it right the first time, actually. But particularly NOW, when my priorities have shifted so dramatically due to the near-loss of all my digital photos, I am very motivated to concentrate on my home office. When I first made my 52 weeks list in January, that was the project I was dreading (TOO BIG) so it was not high on my list or properly broken down into manageable chunks.

    Thank you SO much for the intervention and redirection! Cue the Rocky theme song, ‘cuz I’m-a-gonna go kick some clutter a$$ RIGHT NOW! (in a small, manageable chunk, in 15 minutes or less)

  4. 5
    Jenny says

    Oh did I need this post today! Thank you Laura! I was sitting in near tears due to the total chaos of my home. I had all but given up on my list. You have given me permission to trash the first one and start over. Go figure…I don’t have to do it perfectly the first time. 🙂

  5. 6
    Marsha Seiberling says

    That video is so me in every aspect of my life! I jump around from thing to thing all day long! I don’t know any other way, but do often wonder why at the end of the day it feels like I’ve just accomplished nothing.
    I am just starting this week, and although I didn’t make my own goal after finding you last week, I have done my first week’s post.
    No progress, no photos, just good intentions.

  6. 7
    Sinea Pies says

    You are so right…stick with one project, don’t get sidetracked! Love the video!

  7. 8
    Rooh says

    I’ll admit to sometimes adding to my To Do list something I’ve done *after* I’ve actually done it. Some days I just need that visual affirmations that I have actually accomplished things!

    I’ve had to say to my children (6,4 and 2) that “Let me finish this since I just started, and *then* I can do ____ with you” (a craft, a game, a snack, whatever). Otherwise, I just get caught up on doing other things that whatever I started gets left on the counter! I don’t do that often, since I don’t want to make them feel unimportant, but sometimes … it’s hard to get back on track when you get derailed. I also make sure that I finish quickly, if possible, and do whatever it was that I promised I do with them 🙂

    I’ll admit that while I read your 52 Weeks entries, I’m not doing anything myself towards that goal. We moved three months ago, I’m now eight months pregnant, have three young children, and we don’t even have all our things here in this house yet. But I am trying to be organized about what we *do* bring over, and at least assign it a place (even if it’s the basement for now – we have organized our boxes to keep like things together … sort of).

  8. 9
    Robin says

    I read the post by Bearded Iris and totally related to being a STARTER. NOT A FINISHER……I can completely relate….thank you for your follow up post…..we all get distracted so easily…just too many things in our lives….when did it get so complicated????

    I’ve started the running list…..way too many things on it…..but I will take your thoughts and make smaller chunks and make some progress….

    We need these reminders and to know we are not alone in our struggles…..I went so far as to take pix of the various messes I had recently made….as a reminder to clean up one before I START another….. Smile….R

  9. 11
    Denise Gee says

    The woman in the video could totally be me! Yikes!

  10. 12
    Becky L. says

    I hadn’t thought of doing an organizing process in smaller steps. Good idea! And loved the video. Kinda funny but sometimes that’s what happens. I started a small project in my kitchen yesterday…just sweep and mop and then….4 hours later I have a clean kitchen. My husband loves it. I will post it. But wanted to share that the cleaning bug got me and I needed to continue to keep up my kitchen. I’m planning in my head how I want my family room to look like. But one step at a time! Thanks for your inspiration!

  11. 13
    se7en says

    That video explains my life… totally!!! And I really need to rewrite our list – most of our projects are done … and I need to think about organizing more than just stuff…Hmmmm we are entering the maintaining the stuff phase. Of course the uhummm computer decluttering could keep me decluttering for the rest of eternity… I need to think about organizing our lives and our time and you know more than the stuff… the stuff seems to be at a controllable stage – ATLAST and I am ready to take a peak at other ventures in organizing!!!

  12. 14
    Jenna @ NeatFreakWannabe says

    Thanks for the reminder! I’ve gotten off-track on my organizing plan and have just been thinking about what I need to do to get back to it. The next major project I had lined up (my kitchen) was daunting, which was in turn causing me to procrastinate. I think I’ll change my focus and organize my bathroom instead, which is a much smaller and more manageable space. I’m hoping that accomplishment will help propel me forward (and back to that kitchen project)!

  13. 16
    Anisa says

    Just what I needed to hear! FOCUS is SO difficult for me right now. I have about a billion things going all at once and I find myself struggling to get any of them done… I feel like I can’t even complete a load of laundry! Time to make a list, calm down and focus on one thing at a time!

  14. 17
    ynaffit says

    Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder? My sister and I call it ADOS…. Attention Deficit…. Ooh, Shiny!

  15. 18
    Angelica says

    Hey Laura,

    You’re so right in finishing one task and then only moving on to the next one. I used to have a problem trying to do everything together and end up not doing anything or making no progress at all, which brings the question, Is multitasking really worth mastering? Or is it just a waste of productivity?


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