I have been procrastinating. Surprised? Well, let me explain.
After both of my parents passed on, we emptied and sold their home (in 2011). Last week, I still had three remaining boxes to sort through. One contained photos and keepsakes from Mom’s family, one had framed pictures, and the third one had cassette tapes. Yes, that’s right, cassette tapes.
The box of photos and keepsakes was easy. I just needed to re-box it and place it on a shelf where it fit. So, I purged that shelf, emptying some smaller plastic bins in the process (more about that in a moment). Then, I got a long, shallow bin, put the keepsakes into it and I labeled it. One done.For the framed pictures, I knew that the frames were old and that if I wanted to put any of the photos on the wall, I would buy new black frames. So, I sat in front of the TV and dismantled while I watched. I placed the photos into the dresser where I store all of my old photographs – luckily they fit easily. The frames went to my local thrift shop. Two done.
The third project – my cassette tapes – was more time consuming. I started by sorting into keep and toss categories. Anything that was unlabeled went straight into the trash. Most of the rest were old speaking tapes that are not replaceable. If they were currently available in a digital format of some sort, then those would go into the trash as well. So, I took two of the emptied bins from project #1 and put the cassettes inside. I labeled them and then up onto the shelf they went. My brother-in-law recently gave me a cassette-to-MP3 converter, which means the cassette project is not yet complete. But, that does not mean that they need to be in my way until I am ready to work on converting them.
I was very happy that my procrastinated projects were indeed out of my way. Since they were emotionally charged items, it was difficult to get around to working on them. But, it was worth the extra push to make myself complete the task. Here are a few ideas to help you motivate yourself.
- Don’t look at the entire project as one giant burden. Break it down into smaller bits, maybe 30-60 minutes each. Try for one box, one drawer, or one surface at a time.
- Each time you identify things that are either donate or toss, get them out of your home right away. Otherwise, you will not reap the benefit of seeing the new breathing room that you have created.
- Reward yourself. This could be something as simple as rearranging the furniture in your refreshed room, hanging a picture that you could not fit before, or giving the room a thorough cleaning. Or, you could go for a walk or listen to some music to clear your head.
One final note: I did not do all of this in one day. In fact, each of these projects was done on a separate day. Otherwise, I would not have had the energy or enthusiasm to tackle them. Do you have projects that you have been putting off? What could you do to motivate yourself to make them happen?