Posted by Sue on Jan 16, 2014
Get Set: Preparing to Succeed
One sunny Saturday morning last summer I jumped out of bed eager to tackle the clutter in the second floor of my barn. If you’ve been reading these posts for a while, you know that my barn is my space-nemesis: the one place on my property that I’m convinced has a vindictive spirit that will one day defeat me.
By 8 a.m. I was moving boxes and filling bags with old clothes, papers and books with the intention to make a couple trips to recycling before it closed at 1. By 10 a.m. I was flat on my back, covered in dust and cobwebs, in the midst of piles of half-filled bags and boxes ~ totally defeated; In my eagerness to plunge in, I’d forgotten to eat breakfast, wouldn’t stop for water, and had tried to deal with the entire 30 by 40 foot space that day.
Once again, the barn had defeated me.
Had I followed the advice that I’ve given clients for years, and prepared my space and myself before jumping in, I might have had a chance of succeeding. But my eagerness was my undoing.
There are three distinct parts to any project: planning, preparing and taking action. Our tendency is to skip over the first two steps and jump right into action. But planning and preparing are essential to successfully completing any project. If you’re taking a vacation, but don’t know where you’re going, how you’ll get there or what you’ll need along the way, the chances of getting to your destination are slim.
Last week’s post, Get Ready: Plan to Succeed, looked at the importance of identifying your desired outcome for the project. For example, if you’re organizing a space, how do you want it to function, how long will it take and what do you need to consider before starting? This week, we’ll look at the second step, Get Set: Prepare for Success.
In this second step of the project, we prepare our space and ourselves before taking action in order to avoid interrupting the project for things we’ve forgotten. Before tackling an organizing project:
- Schedule your work session. Block out an hour to 3 hours; any longer is generally not productive.
- Deal with distractions, such as telephones and children, ahead of time.
- Gather together any needed materials such as labels, markers, boxes and garbage bags.
- Make sure you are well rested and nourished.
- Invite a supportive helper to join you, if you need one.
- Keep a notebook handy for stray thoughts that occur to you and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated.
Taking the time to plan and prepare maximizes your energy and respects your commitment to the project. And, as a bonus, it increases the chances of conquering your own space-nemesis!