“It’s easier to keep up than catch up!” You may need to reread that a couple of times to let that sink in. Google says procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something. So, if procrastination is your enemy, your friend is a mindset of “you can do it.”
A couple of months ago, you made resolutions, new habits and promises with enthusiasm and determination. But 60 days is a long time to keep running full steam ahead. How hard is it really to go to the gym every day or to cut out sugar or to do a load of laundry every night? The thought of those things isn’t hard. What tends to get complicated is the space between thinking and doing.
We tend to make things too hard. Period. So how do you “keep up” when you really want to throw up your hands and say, “I’ll do it tomorrow?” Here are some tips to help you stay ahead and not have to play catch up.
- Baby steps. To avoid starting a project and not finishing it, watch biting off more than you can chew, or in other words, match the project with the time you have. If you only have 20 minutes, don’t attempt to clean out the entire garage. Use those 20 minutes to focus on one area, like the sports equipment. Most disorganization comes from projects that are abandoned and left to finish later.
- Containerize. “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Simple. Think about a silverware tray. Whether you’re 5 or 85 years young, if a fork was found in the bathroom, you’d know it didn’t belong there. You would know exactly where to put it. Think of your closets, desks, laundry room; do you have a place for everything? If an item doesn’t have a home, that item is out of place and becomes clutter. Make sure you communicate where that “home” is to your family.
- Time. “Do it now … ‘later’ is already booked!” Take that extra three seconds and put things back where they belong. It’s easy to do because you have created a place for it; you know where it goes, and it’s easy to follow through. Resist the temptation to put something down and hope it finds its own way home. It won’t.
No matter how big of a task, you accomplish it by doing a little bit at a time. Keeping up is like stretching yourself to do just two more squats even when your legs are so shaky you can barely stand. Do what it takes every day to keep up. No one wins when playing catch-up. It’s that simple.