"Sometimes thinking too much can destroy your momentum."
- Tom Watson
Very cool - you got busy and cleared off that desk, or pulled all of the old clothes out of the closet to donate, or dived into the filing cabinet to scan and shred... you put in an entire day and you are amazed and pleased with the results. Maybe you even hired a professional organizer who helped you to see the light at the end of the tunnel, serving as cheerleader, teacher and occasional tough-love coach.
What will motivate you to keep things in a workable system going forward? Or, if you didn't quite get through all of the piles and stacks (perhaps the more likely scenario), what will see you through to the end of the project? I've been struggling with this a bit myself as I recently started reorganizing my office. I once had a client tell me something along the lines of "I'm really not disorganized - I keep my files at work in perfect shape. I just don't feel like doing the same thing when I get home." I feel her pain sometimes.
Anyway, I got through everything except the "To Be Filed" pile, and it's not even really that much to do. But yet, I procrastinate. I am torn between wanting to get a consistent scanning system put into place or re-labeling and re-arranging the current paper files. Or, in my best world, both. My indecision is related to the whole "what would be more perfect?" thing - and Perfectionism is a best friend of Procrastination.
There's also the "if I start this, then I have to do that" dilemma. If I get to going through all of the files, then I should probably also go through the latest batch of kids' school stuff, and the scrapbook that I never quite finished for my dad, and the prints that have not been framed, and... (I also call this Putting it Off by Piling it On).
While there are all kinds of reasons for procrastinating on maintenance tasks there are four concrete methods I use to get (and keep) myself going that hopefully might help you too:
And so, as I write this post the final few files are stacked on the floor behind me calling my name. Time to quit thinking so much, grab a glass of tea, and get the label maker fired up.
Sara Skillen - Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Organizer Coach®, wife, mom, and serial list-maker. Learning to trust my intuition more every day. Shall we work together?