How many times have you planned to get organized? How many times did you begin the same project and 3 hours later you found you have made no progress and are in a bigger mess than when you started? Most organizing projects fail in the beginning stages because people lose focus and get distracted.
Here are 10 ways to avoid distractions and stay focused
Make a plan. Mark your organizing project on your calendar just as you would schedule an appointment. Choose a time of day to tackle this project when you are at your best. You can look forward to this project and give yourself time to get motivated and have a solid plan of how you are going to attack the project.
Set a time limit. Block off 3 hours for your organizing project. If it will take you more than 3 hours, schedule a lunch break in between. If you organize more than 3 hours straight, you are setting yourself up for burnout and stress.
Disconnect. Before you tackle your project, make a conscious effort to not answer your phone, check your texts, email or social media. Shut down from everything. You will be amazed at how much work you will accomplish.
Limit interruptions. If you have children that need to be tended to, plan to have a babysitter watch them during your project time. If you are tackling this project during office hours, make your staff aware that you are not to be interrupted unless it’s an emergency.
Focus. Once you start organizing, it is going to be easy to veer off and do other things. Focus on the task at hand. Try not to jump from task to task. Breaking your project down into small tasks will help you stay focused.
Don’t leave the area. The biggest mistake people make is leaving the area they are working in. If you leave the room you are working in, you will get distracted, lose focus and your project will take you longer or you may not finish at all. Instead of picking up an item and moving it to another area of the house, keep a bin of items that need to be transferred other rooms. Disburse the items when you are finished.
Make quick decisions. Don't spend too much time deciding whether to keep something. If you can't decide, put it aside and move on. Save it until the end.
Don’t get stuck. If you are organizing paper, try not to read full articles or get started in reading magazines. Rip out articles that are important to you and move on.
Don’t involve too many people. Sometimes it’s better if you tackle this project alone or with another person. If you involve too many people, the chances of you getting distracted and losing focus will be very high. Once people begin in conversations, they stop working get distracted and the projects take twice as long.
Reminisce later. It's ok to reminisce with sentimental items, but don't let it zap your time. Decide whether to keep or toss and then move on. After you get organized, re-visit the items and reminisce about them.
Without distractions, your project will take you half the time. You will have finished with more energy. You will be motivated and energized to continue and move forward with other projects.
Kristin has written over 350 articles. Her column, Organized Energized Living, can be found twice a month in the Coastal Breeze. She also wrote a weekly column for GoLocalProv from 2012-2018 and has been featured in local and national publications. She is author of the book, Living an Organized, Energized Life! For more info on how to purchase, click here.