Do you ever have those days, or months, when you can’t seem to get anything done? I’ve been desperately seeking motivation since the beginning of the year. Believe me, I know there are hundreds of suggestions out there for kick-starting your motivation, but I’m a master at finding excuses for not trying any of them.

For example, one tip is to tackle a small project – one with an easy outcome to achieve – such as organising a drawer. One of the risks of this is these ‘small projects’ end up being prorastinating tasks. Sure you feel great by doing them, and you may even feel more motivated to tackle further projects. But unless those further projects fit into your overarching goals, in reality it’s just a slightly more productive way of procrastinating.

I decided to try using a timer to see whether it could rev up my motivation. I show you the results in this video.

In the video, I mentioned I’d share lessons learned. I did some lessons learned after my Family Room declutter project, which you can read about here. Funnily enough, pretty much all my lessons from that project are the same for this. Perhaps the real lesson here is I should pay more attention to the lessons I’m supposed to have already learned. Here are a few more variations on the theme –

  1. Normally it’s important to begin a project keeping the end in mind. For some reason I don’t see decluttering as an objective in itself. It feels like it should be part of a process; the end result ought to be an organised area or an organisational system. Recently I’ve come to realise this way of thinking is entirely incorrect. To that end, I’m going to make decluttering a large overarching project in itself and work on some areas where there will be no organisational area as the final result. I need to have simply the decluttered area as the end in mind.

  2. Thinking in time periods helps schedule your available time. If the end I have in mind is ‘to have a clutter free and organised under sink cupboard’ tackling the project could still be an issue unless appropriate time can be allocated. If it takes 2 hours to organise the cupboard then either I need to schedule the activity when I have a period of 2 hours free OR I need to break the project into shorter time periods AND each of these time periods need to have their own defined end goal (unless you can live with everything out and in a mess while working on the task).

  3. Without time restrictions a task can seem daunting. I recently asked my daughter to tidy her room. She complained that it would take all day, and an argument ensued. The next time I asked her to spend 20 minutes tidying her room. She went to her room and got it tidied. It’s a simple matter of reframing, but it works.

  4. Don’t over plan – just start.