Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Making Little Bits of Time Count

When our daughters were little, we were able to motivate them to do a task by saying "Alright, put your toys away and I'll time you. We'll see how fast you can get it done."  Bless their hearts they fell for it every time. Now they just give me the eye roll, accept the task (or not) and then prioritize it into their day.  Come to think of it so do I.  I need to remind myself that it will only take me a few seconds more to put things in the drawer rather than to plop the laundry on top of the dresser. I can not leave it to do another day. If I can't do it now, what makes me think I will have time later?

The bigger tasks are harder. Some things we need or want to get done, but there are so many urgent daily things that the projects never happen.  You would love to have you photos organized, your recipes available, or your files purged, loose twenty pounds, and so on.  In our minds, the scope of the task is overwhelming and we become too paralyzed to even begin.  In the spirit of the adage "Every journey begins with a single step," we are best served by just choosing to begin. We can find a little pockets of time to break down the task.  I like to put puzzles together from time to time. There it is-- a thousand pieces. But I find if I find a place and lay it out, and do a little when I can one piece at a time. Eventually...and there are no time constraints on puzzles...it gets done.

Take the recipe project for example. By breaking it down into single steps we can begin to tackle the whole. Each step begins with a verb. Remember verbs mean action!
Gather the big stack of newspaper and magazine recipe clippings, print-outs from the computer, recipe cards, and scrap papers with jotted  notes in one place. 
Toss the ones you can never really picture yourself making. It looked good at the time but now...maybe not.  Get a  3" notebook binder and fill it with clear page protectors and some tabbed dividers for sections like appetizers, entrĂ©es, desserts, etc. 
Add the recipes back to back for full magazine pages and computer prints, tape/glue smaller recipes to a pieces of printer paper and slide them in the clear sleeves. Eventually you have a working recipe book if you do a few recipes a day.
My Recipe Book

Perfectionist take a breath.  Done is better than perfect.  You can always tweak the completed project by adding embellishments, labeling, scrap-booking, and  alphabetizing. My binder has a front pocket where I can store new recipes till I try them and a clear front that allowed me to add a cover title page. I don't alphabetize the recipes because there are only 20-30 recipes per section and I like looking at them to remember occasions when I made them. Most of all, I love the book more than the pile of papers. My project took more than a month. 
When you complete the project, there is an inertia that you will carry you as you take on another project and the pride of job well done!

1 comment:

  1. Done is better than perfect...did you learn that from a Creative Memories consultant or did the consultants who taught it to me learn it from an organizer? ;-D