Trip over your to-dos

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Place prepared items for your projects in strategically irritating places, triggering your desire to get rid of those items. You will realize it will take about as much effort to complete the project as to relocate the items or to keep tripping over them.

I absolutely despise a messy desk. Therefore I always place anything that needs to be done with the aid of the computer onto my desk. Having the items where they do not belong and seeing them every minute I am at my desk, makes me take action quickly so I can clear the desk. Things that need packaging, Blessingway beads that need to be listed on Etsy, receipts for insurance claims, books to review, new books to be entered into my book catalogue before being placed on a shelf, – all those are placed onto my desk and usually gone to their appropriate places within a day or two at most.

In my studio, I only have two desks: one that holds beading supplies and has limited space for beading designs, and another one that almost always has a puzzle in progress. However, when something needs to be done within a day or two and I have just completed a puzzle, I use my puzzle desk to set up everything I need to complete the task. That way, I will get to it within a day or two, because it will be very frustrating for me not to be able to do a puzzle whenever I wish. (Yes, I’m a puzzle addict to that extent. Imagine not being able to touch a puzzle for a week!) Similarly, if I have some designs set out on my beading desk, I have to assemble the pieces before creating new designs, otherwise I will not have space for them. This ensures that I complete the necessary tasks quickly, before I move on to something more pleasurable.

On a smaller scale, I leave things on the stairs to remind me of outstanding tasks. My studio is on the top floor, kitchen and living room on the main floor, and laundry and pantry in the basement. This means that I can find myself in the studio needing something from the basement or the ground floor, and before starting on a project I would have to go down the stairs to bring things up. Instead, I anticipate where something would be needed next and leave it on the stairs going in that direction. That way when I do traverse the stairs, I grab whatever is lying there, reminding me that something needs to be done. And conveniently enough, it needs to be done on the floor to which I’m already going.

Make it easy and rewarding for yourself to do what you know needs doing by making it irritating to NOT do it.


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