Unfinished projects taunting you?

As I got ready for bed last night I had the most curious experience: my toiletries drawer spoke to me. It said, “Hey, weren’t you going to organize me, like, two months ago? Isn’t it true that you already have the special drawer organizer in your closet right now? What are you waiting for?”

Indeed. What am I waiting for? I’m a professional organizer for goodness sake. I shouldn’t have these unfinished projects.

Well, I am also human and a busy human at that. I suspect it will take about 20 minutes or less to sort through the drawer, discard the lotion that has a texture that I hate, the half-used tooth whitening kit that’s taking up way too much room, the expired crappola. I think about doing it every time I open the drawer.

So why haven’t I done it? People procrastinate on organizing projects for lots of reasons, some of them legitimate–like not being sure if they want to do the thing or not having enough information. Other reasons involve not wanting to face the truth of the items needing to be sorted and organized. Perhaps the objects belonged to a deceased loved one or represent a past time of happiness or difficulty. And then there’s the reason I have procrastinated: just not getting to it.

We aren’t surprised when big projects get put off, but what about small tasks? When small tasks go unfinished the effect is more scattering than procrastinating on one big task. If we think about the small tasks as voices trying to get your attention, then your home or office can get quite noisy. That leads to the feeling of being overwhelmed, which leads to not doing anything about it. In the meantime, the nagging and taunting of knowing that unfinished projects–small or large–sit waiting for you to do them drains your energy and diverts your attention from what really matters in life.

My mistake with this drawer was not assigning it to a timeslot. I’m confident that I can find 20 minutes to deal with this one drawer today at 2:30. I’ll make sure it’s done before the kids hop off the bus at 3:00.

So make a plan. What are two of your unfinished small projects? Do one today and one tomorrow and report back. Can’t wait to hear about your success.

                                   Which drawer would you rather use?


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Kate Varness is a Certified Professional Organizer specializing in Chronic Disorganization.