Project procrastination. It’s something ALL of us have experienced at one time or another; nagging tasks and to-dos that stare you in the face over a long period of time.
You want to fix the problem, to create change, to improve functionality, and yet you just. don’t. do it.
As professional organizers, we know that there is more to clutter than meets the eye (and I’m not just talking about what is hidden beneath the clutter!)
Clutter is actually evidence of underlying issues. The same is true for procrastinating!
Getting to the roots of why you’re procrastinating is the key to taking action on projects that you’ve been putting off.
If you have a pile up occurring, stop and look for clues. Ask what is stopping you from taking action.
We find people often cite:
- Lack of time
- Lack of knowledge
- Lack of money
- Lack of motivation
Lack of time
So many of us are living without margin in our lives.
We have ourselves and our families so over-committed that we are often running from one activity to the next with no time to stop and reset. The result is that our homes, garages, and cars take the hit as we dump and run.
Perhaps you have an area of your home or a project that, if organized, would make a difference in the flow of your home and your peace of mind. However, your lack of time and tight schedule keeps you from tackling the project.
In effect, you don’t have the time to complete a project that could give you more time. It’s a conundrum that many people and families find themselves in!
What projects are you procrastinating because you don’t have enough time?
Lack of knowledge
How many projects or tasks on your to-do list are delayed because you aren’t sure how to get from here to completion?
Often, people are afraid to get started on a project if they can’t see all the steps and picture the end result. They are waiting for a clear vision of a final product, and they don’t take any action until that vision materializes.
Or perhaps you aren’t tackling a project because it’s outside your jurisdiction.
We all have certain areas where we feel like we are the experts and other areas that we defer to someone else to handle. We make up in our mind that we can’t complete those tasks because they aren’t within our domain and we don’t know how to do the steps it takes to complete the task.
What projects are you postponing because you believe you lack the know-how?
Lack of Money
Perhaps you’ve uncovered the perfect solution for your space – whether it be a new storage solution, matching bins and containers, those gorgeous acrylic drawers that show off your perfectly rolled hand towels – but you are stopped by your budget.
You are left thinking, “If I could just afford that new shelving system” and the project never moves forward from lack of funds.
Or perhaps the glitzy organizing systems don’t inspire you, but you are overwhelmed with your clutter and aren’t sure where to start. You know you need help and someone to walk you through setting up systems that will really work for you. You want to call in reinforcements, but believe you don’t have the budget for a professional organizer.
Without that help, you shut the door or your eyes and ignore your nagging projects.
What is the first project you would complete if you had the money for it?
Lack of motivation
Have you been avoiding areas of your home and implementing the “out of sight, out of mind” strategy? Do you stare at your project with no desire to begin? Does it feel easier to maintain the status quo than to embark on the painful change process?
Lack of motivation is a major culprit of project procrastination.
Whenever a project feels “hard” it can be challenging to muster the motivation to begin and project procrastination. So, we limp through life with less-than-ideal systems, creating work-arounds and lowering expectations to get by without having to actually create the change we desire.
What projects have you put off until “later” to avoid the pain of addressing your problems today?
I’m sure all of us have experienced these four causes of delayed projects at one point or another. They feel real and true and factual.
Here is where your mindset can transform your space!
All of the above project procrastination “problems” come from a mindset of “lack” – of not having enough. If we retrain our mind to remove “lack”, we are a step closer to achieving our goals!
Lack of time is actually a prioritization issue.
“I don’t have the time” accurately stated is: “this project is not a high priority for me.”
Consider your priorities in life, along with the costs from not completing the project and the rewards of completing it. Determine whether this project should be added to the calendar and given priority to get it done.
What if you determine a project is a high priority and yet you still feel like you lack time?
Many hands make light work
Call on friends, family, or professionals to help you quickly tackle larger projects. Not only will you reduce the time it takes to complete the project, you will benefit from alternative perspectives and ideas that may make the system you create even better.
How to eat an elephant
Are you familiar with the old adage “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”? Apply this principal to your organizing projects and create time to accomplish small tasks daily, weekly, and monthly.
Step 1: Make a list of the projects you want to complete. Consider if you can further break them down into 10-15 min activities.
Step 2: Schedule these bite-sized activities on your calendar and stick with it!
You may not have 24 hours to spend organizing your office. But, I’m sure you can tackle a drawer, the desktop, or a filing project in smaller chunks of time. Then, add 3-4 hour sessions to your calendar to make real headway.
These small bites will move you toward your goal and help you to see that you really DO have the time it takes to accomplish what is important to you.
As you stop procrastinating and build momentum in your project you will also reclaim your time as you reap the rewards of greater efficiency due to your organized systems!
Lack of knowledge/know how. To combat this hurdle, add the simple word “yet.”
“I don’t know how to do that…yet.” This simple word reminds you that you CAN! This idea comes from the “Growth Mindset” and draws on the science that demonstrates that what we say to ourselves matters in our ability to learn new skills.
Now, ask yourself if this is something you want to learn how to do or if you want to hire someone with expertise to help you?
To dive more deeply into changing your mindset and what it takes to turn your “Can’ts” into “Cans,” read our [RE]store Enews article: Rethink.
Lack of money is, again, a prioritization issue.
Budgeting is all about allocating funds to your priorities. Instead of operating from a mindset of not enough money, look at how you are investing the money you do have.
Does your money allocation align with your priorities? If you determine that this project is a high priority, then examine the rest of your budget for places where money is going to low-priority expenses.
Did you know that instead of $8 on buying coffee and a snack every workday, you could hire an Order Restorer every other month? WOW! It’s amazing how we fritter away pocket change and, in this nearly invisible action, sacrifice our bigger priorities.
Think getting organized is expensive? Change your mindset and create a solution from the abundance of what you already possess!
If, after carefully examining your budget, you feel confident that dollars are going to high-priority expenses and you still feel the lack of funds for your organizing projects, it’s time to get creative!
Establish your priority for a space, prune your belongings down to just those things that support that priority, and then shop your own home for solutions! Here is a great example of a high-impact, low-cost makeover!
Whether the space ends up picture-perfect or just perfect for you, as long as it serves YOU and what’s important to YOU, that’s all that matters!
Lack of motivation. People change for two reasons: pain and possibility.
Until PAIN or POSSIBILITY reaches a tipping point, you will experience more of the same. If your pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change, you’re ready to take action!
However, an even more empowered place from which to derive motivation is possibility. Imagine what is possible for you and your life when your project is complete.
If you just can’t get motivated to get started organizing, here are some steps to tackle stuckness:
- Make a list of the intrinsic rewards – peace of mind, sense of accomplishment, freedom of time, money, and space to entertain.
- Share your WHY GET ORGANIZED list with us on social media!
- Build in some rewards, like throwing a party in your newly organized kitchen or taking a spa bath in your reclaimed master bathroom
- Don’t forget to take pictures of your progress
- If you are still lacking motivation for a high-priority project, call in reinforcements! Rely on the motivation of a relative, friend, or expert to spur you on!
Overcoming lack in your mindset will not only help you to accomplish nagging projects around your home, it will help you reclaim your life by living out of the abundance that you already possess.
Identifying the mindset that is keeping you procrastinating, along with a little creative problem solving can help you overcome backlog!
Leave a comment with what nagging project you will be taking on!
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