Why do we put off doing things that don't take very long? It would only help us stay on top of things so we could be more organized. While there are, I'm sure, many theories on this somewhere out there, here's my take:
There was a time when I could get a lot done while watching TV. I'd pop up during a commercial break and quickly switch a load of laundry, unload the top rack of the dishwasher or let the dog out. It was like a little race to get it done. I knew I didn't have much time before the show would be back on. I could get a bunch of little things accomplished during these built in breaks. If you added all of the little tasks up, it made a big difference in helping keep things organized.
But lately, my husband and I have been watching less regular TV and now Netflix our way through the last couple waking hours of our week nights. There are no commercials to pop up during and get off the couch. We don't have break times built in to our evenings anymore. If one of us needs a refill on a snack or to take a "potty break," as I now call it since having a toddler, we have to press pause.
When can we "press the pause button" in our daily lives to get things done?
Lack of commercial breaks and Netflix is definitely not the only problem or all to blame. Some people wouldn't even bother to get up during a commercial break any way. But if you have time to check your status updates or post a picture to Instagram, you have time to take out the trash. Get my point?
If I was a health care professional, or writing a blog about the lack of exercise our society has in general, I might make a point here that this adds to another problem. We sit around too much. But taking the organizing angle here, it means less built in breaks to do these little types of things. We have to consciously make time to do things that take 1-3 minutes. While this may seem super strange to make a point about, I find it actually very significant.
A lot of things take a shorter length of time to get done then we think it might take. We forget this. We think we don't have the time because we don't really know how long something will take us to do. We just need to take the time it takes to get it done, and remember how quickly it actually took us. No big deal.
People ask me all the time about how I stay so organized, or how they could be more organized. They might admire or tell me they wish they could do it, but seem to think they don't have the time. We all have the time. You just have to look at where you have a few minutes here and there to work at it.
In order to be organized you have to constantly work at it. Find ways to do little things every day along the way to keep things up. While I might set aside a few hours with clients to work on this, in my daily life I do organizing tasks all the time that take very little time.
51 Commercial Length Tasks (1-3 minutes or less to accomplish):
- Empty trash in bathroom/s
- Take out recycling (Newspapers/Magazines/Plastic bottles)
- Re-fill things: (Soap Dispensers, Napkins/Paper Towels, Bird Seed Feeder)
- Unwrap a new toothbrush and throw out the old
- Wipe Mirrors of fingerprints and water spots
- Collect dirty Bath Towels and replace with fresh ones
- Take off your old nail polish
- Get the mail from the mailbox
- Water house plants
- Put bags of donations in the car
- Collect library books in a bag to return
- Put a receipt for an item you need to return with the item in a bag
- Put a gift for someone in a gift bag
- Write a thank you card
- Throw out any produce that are past prime eating time
- Make a grocery list
- Wash out a water bottle, refill, and take a few sips
- Wipe out the microwave
- Open a bill and pay it
- Delete emails you have no intention of reading
- Unsubscribe to newsletters you never read
- Pull the garbage cans down to the street
- Sweep the kitchen floor quickly
- Replace kitchen washcloth and towel with fresh ones
- Clean out lint screen in dryer
- Mend a button
- Take loose change out of your purse and put it in a jar
- Put more toilet paper in the bathrooms
- Replace a battery in something that needs it
- Clip your finger nails
- Open or Close the curtains
- Make a bed
- Fold up blankets on the couch
- Collect plastic bags to recycle next time you grocery shop
- Plug in devices to charge
- Pack a lunch
- Take vitamins and refill a weekly pill/vitamin organizer
- Throw out expired coupons
- Switch a load of laundry from the washer to dryer
- Wipe off the kitchen table or a counter top of crumbs
- Pick out your outfit for the next day
- Talk about your day or upcoming week with kids or spouse
- Put something on your calendar or in your phone as a reminder
- Put three things away
- Plan a meal
- Put dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher
- Put dirty clothes in a hamper or laundry basket
- Make an appointment for something you've been putting off
- Cancel something you don't really want to do or have time for
- Stop, pause, breathe and look out the window at the rain, birds, clouds or trees
- Smile, and pet the dog or cat and make sure their license and tags are up to date
Leave a comment below or share your quick tasks.