Two Minute or Less Tasks

A friend and fellow organizer, Patti Kreamer, always says “if it takes less than 2 minutes – do it now!”

What can you accomplish in 2 minutes or less?

  • Place your dishes in the dishwasher
  • Make the bed
  • Put away folded laundry
  • Throw a load of laundry in the washer
  • Wipe off the kitchen counters
  • Delete emails

What you CAN’T do in less than 2 minutes

  • alphabetize all your media
  • turn your living room into a thing of beauty that Martha Stewart would want to be YOU
  • declutter a very cluttered basement

Confession time – no one is perfect, least of all me.  I know you secretly picture my home as a place of complete organization at all times – not exactly true!  I may be a professional organizer, but I’m far from perfect!  I have a habit of leaving my breakfast dishes on the counter instead of placing them in the dishwasher – it would take me only 30 seconds!  It’s something I’m really going to start working on.  I encourage you to do the same – examine your daily routine – what little task could you accomplish in less than 2 minutes?

Imagine this – if everyone took 10 minutes in their day, we could ALL accomplish at least 5 tasks that take less than 2 minutes.  What difference would that make in your home?  In your life?  If you’re struggling to find the time, try the commercial breaks of your favorite tv shows!  I know you can find those 10 minutes!

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Procrastination

We’re all guilty of procrastination in some form of another.  (Example…it’s Friday and I’m finally posting this blog entry.)  For many of us, procrastination is a natural part of life.  We have fabulous intentions, make great lists of what we wish to accomplish, but never seen to cross off the items.

Some reasons why we procrastinate:

  • Not enough time to complete the project.
  • The task is difficult or overwhelming.  You don’t know where to start.
  • There are too many emotions involved (example – cleaning through a deceased loved one’s belongings).
  • The task seems unpleasant and there are other things we’d rather do.

How can we overcome procrastination?

  • Make a list of your goals whether they be daily, weekly, or monthly.  Take the list and divide it into manageable chunks.  If you for example want to “clean your entire house” this week, it can seem daunting.  Instead, write out each chore or room and assign it a day.  Instead of one large overwhelming goal, have small mini goals that are achievable.
  • Schedule time to work towards goals on your calendar.  For example in our clean-house example, estimate how long it will take to clean each room.  Bathrooms tend to take about 30 minutes…but schedule an hour in case you take longer than you think.  You’ll be rewarded with extra time to do what you want to do!
  • During your scheduled goal time, ignore phone calls and emails.  Avoid distractions.  Sometimes listening to good music can help keep focused.
  • Eat that frog!  Do the thing you dread to do first (ug, scrubbing those bathtubs).  Sometimes it’s as simple as a pile of papers you’ve been dreading putting away.  In reality, the task probably won’t take as long as you thought…it’s just taking more energy and thought because you’ve been putting it off.  Don’t sit around thinking, “I need to do blank…” – just do it!  It can be empowering to complete a dreaded task.
  • Consider letting old projects go instead of feeling guilty.  Maybe you thought alphabetizing your spices in your kitchen cabinet would be a great idea, but it’s been on your to-do list forever.  Is it really important?  Is it worth scheduling time?  Let go of the project and release the guilt.u must get to work on the sweater, consider letting it go. After elevating it you may feel it is just not worth your time, let it go without the guilt and move on to something else.
  • Reward yourself for accomplishing goals!  After an hour of working on goals, it’s great to take an hour to do whatever you want to do!

The bottom line – overcome procrastination by making a plan and dividing goals into small manageable chunks.  You can do it!  Now…or later!