Habits May the PURGE Be with YOU

Can’t Eat the WHOLE Elephant

Again, reminded that I can’t eat the whole elephant.

I was cleaning my desk last night (WAY in purge mode lately!)  Amongst the neatly stacked and organized piles (I’m a visual organizer.  If it’s above the desk, it’s active… in a drawer… archive), I found a revised list of house projects.

We’ve owned our early 1900 Victorian for nearly 4 years.  I made an extensive “to do” list before we closed, complete with order of priority and supplies needed, many of which were even organized in individual buckets for our initial “project day.”  (Some call it a gift, others an illness.)

The list was rather dog-eared when I found it 6 months or so ago.  I joyfully checked off what we’d accomplished… wrote a few newly finished projects down and immediately crossed them off (such power in crossing and checking, no?)  After neatly re-writing the list, adding new quests and clipping it to paint chips and magazine clippings, it went back into the “active” file tower.

When I re-found it yesterday, I added as many as I crossed off. Momentarily discouraged at how little headway we’d made, I hid the list under a stack and went for a cup of caramel coffee.  (I’d recommend it!)  Then it dawned on this planner/prioritizer.  My list isn’t prioritized nor is it scheduled in bite-size pieces.  I have ridiculous things left on it like “build a garage” and “grade and reseed the back yard.”  Yeah, I’m jumping up and down for that mud bath.

Winning in Increments
(No elephants were harmed by this blogger.)

So I’m re-doing my list on the computer this time.  I’m putting it on address labels.  (More about why later.)

  • First, I’m moving the projects which have zero chance of being accomplished this year to a wish list.
  • Second, I’m prioritizing and grouping the rest of the list (things like “clean/organize the basement” need to precede “paint basement walls” and “set up exercise equipment.”)
  • Third, I’m breaking all the projects into bite-size pieces.  For me a “bite” is no more than two hours, preferably less to get the step done.  If it’s longer, I won’t start or I’ll resent my family for getting into my way when I want to finish.
  • Last, I’m printing out the labels.  After cutting out the labels and putting them in logical order, they go on a calendar.  Bite by bite we’ll git er done!

Want help breaking down your elephant?  Let me know.

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