I used to have an ‘Undone List’, commonly known as the ‘to do’ list, only mine never got done. Well last summer I conquered my list and I am here to share my secrets so you too can say you are the victor in the ‘to do’s of your life. Just follow these easy steps and you too can be crossing off those tasks that have plagued you for so long.
- Make a list of everything you want to do. List every project you can think of such as hanging your latest picture of the kids or replacing a few shelves in the closet or even starting or finishing that mosaic you’ve been wanting for the last five years. Make a goal of finishing the list by the end of three months.Set up a loose schedule of when you want each item on the list to be done. Don’t schedule yourself so tightly though that you don’t have time for fun! Give yourself permission for fun or relaxing times.
- Decide what you will do if you run into trouble. I had to order new brackets and rings for my new curtains which held up my curtain project. I was able to choose my mosaic project on the porch for filling in my time though. Don’t use missing parts as an excuse to chuck it all!
- The most important part of this information is choosing a ‘coach’. Don’t be afraid to seek out a tough coach who will make you accountable. I chose one who is reliable, who is not afraid to call me to see how I’m coming or to scold me lightly for putting off a not-so-easy to do project. She encourages me to keep working on projects and asks for pictures since she lives several hundred miles away and praises me when I’m done. She’s great!
- Mark off projects as you complete them and date them so you can see the progress you’ve made. Do this at the end of every day. I not only do this but also email them to my coach so she can also see my progress.
- Stay on task. I allow time for everyday tasks like favorite programs, or shopping for missing parts or even other materials I think would help with the project.
- Stick as close to the schedule as you can. Don’t make excuses when things don’t go right, move temporarily to another project until your frustration is over. Then move back to the original work so you can cross off that project from your list. Yea!
- If you have outdoor projects do those when the weather is favorable and you can enjoy them the most. Work on indoor projects when it’s raining or otherwise unfavorable for outdoor projects.
- Don’t get frustrated when your ‘coach’ makes you accountable for your projects—remember, this is the ‘coach’s’ job. Decide to work harder or find a way to get motivated. Is there a date coming soon that might move you to action? A friend coming for a visit? A party for a relative? Use these to motivate when nothing else will.
- Don’t work on too many projects at once. Remember you are trying to finish things up, not burn yourself out. Have more than one project at hand in case you run into difficulties and need expert advice on how to finish the project. If help is not available, then go to another project until help arrives!
- Give up starting other things until you see progress on your list. You want to finish things, but while getting those curtains finished you may want to find some new fabric to cover those shabby looking throw pillows. Resist the urge. Stay focused and you will prevail!
- Celebrate the small victories. When a friend calls to ask what I’m doing, I recite every little thing I’ve done—it sounds more impressive even to me! It seems to keep my spirit motivated.
- Use up what you have. If you have supplies at home to finish a project then you will ‘kill two birds with one stone’. It always easier to organize less things than more things, this will encourage your organizing goals.
- Don’t go shopping or ‘drag in’ other things while you are working on your ‘lost projects’. Neatness is motivating. You may think you need something to add to the rooms, but hold off until you are finished with at least half of your list.
- When you finally have every item on your list crossed off, celebrate with friends…then make a new list. Keep doing this until you have nothing left to do…lol.
- Lastly (should be the first item!) Pray. Let God show you where to start and let Him make your ‘crooked paths straight’.
I find this method to be very motivating and my coach has become motivated to do things in her life so she will also feel victorious. I now ask her what she’s accomplished on her list today! Good luck on your projects and lists and as always…blessings!