Dwayne over at "Genuine Curiosity" came up with a great technique for overcoming procrastination and getting the kids and the whole family to tackle a goal they've been putting off. His goal was to "Reduce clutter and get rid of stuff we don't use any more." A very admirable goal! But how to get the family to participate in getting things done???
He came up with a creative way to get the kids involved. His solution was:
"Pick one box o' mystery and process it. ... Processing means:
- tossing out anything that's trash, broken or unusable,
- putting misplaced things where they belong,
- getting rid of stuff we never should've kept in the first place (how many Happy Meal toys do we really need?)
- sorting and finding a permanent home for anything that looks remotely like a collection,
- putting anything that's still usable into our 'giveaway box' so we can donate it"
I love this idea! It gets the family working together on a common goal...so they are not only accomplishing a task, they are spending time together! He reports that his kids actually look forward to it.
What he did with his family is a WONDERFUL example of how to overcome procrastination! Procrastinating usually has at least 3 dimensions to it. physical, emotional and mental or logistical. He addressed all 3 in his "box o' mystery" solution!
1 - Physical - He chunked out the physical task to simplify it and make it less tiring. This is critical!!! If he has made the task a whole room instead of just one box at a time...it may not have worked!
Another factor to consider in the physical dimension is your own energy. Are you rested? Have you had enough water? Is your clutter itself draining your energy? If so, you may need to start small and clear a small clutter free haven for your self to gather your energy. You may even need to go outside for a walk to recharge.
2 - Emotional - He made the task fun and social by having the whole family work together on it. Not just telling the kids to do it. The subconscious reward for them was having quality time with Dad.
The emotional side of getting things done cannot be overlooked. You may need to reframe the way you look at a task. What are you saying to yourself about the task? What could you be saying to yourself to make it less stressful? Another way to address the emotional side of an organizing task is to make a list of the benefits of getting it done. You can also get a friend or family member to help! My husband and I do what we call "clutter dating." Remember, "joys shared are doubled, and troubles shared are halved" I don't remember who said that but they were so right! Another way to make a task more fun is to add an element of a game or competition to it. Maybe set up a timer and see who gets the most done is certain amount of time.
3- Mental/logistics - He broke down the process into steps, set criteria AND made the rules and steps clear to the whole family. Communication is important here!
Not having a process and steps defined is a BIG reason people get overwhelmed when thinking about getting a job done. This is because when you don't have a steps in mind, and you don't have it chunked it out, you tend to overestimate how long it will take AND how difficult it be. Then you start to panic! Often just deciding where to start, defining the steps, setting a timeframe and taking the first step will set you on the path of getting the whole job done in no time!
Here's the link to Dwayne's complete post about the Box o' Mystery
So what task are you going to break down and stop procrastinating about today? : )