29 July 2014

On task

At times, it must seem like I have homemaking ADD. In the last year or so, I’ve started writing about my projects more in real-time, rather than storing up content so I can wham-bam you with a start-to-finish amazing before-after all at once (non-professional bloggers ain’t got time for that). I think it better reflects what most of us are capable of, and it’s a bit more honest. That’s why I’m in the office, then the master bedroom, then the basement, then back again.

So... well, yes, I do have project ADD sometimes.

But as much as I love organizing those spaces, I also love organizing my ideas about them. It can be hard to keep an eye on the project prize when I bounce between several projects at once, even if it does keep me more interested.

To combat the potential unproductivity of decorating ADD, I make a long-term list of goals – not quite as long-term as the 35 by 35 list, but something that’ll keep me busy for a few months. Here’s mine for the summer.

It’s a mix of fun (curtains and trays, yay!) and necessary (Goodwill errands and basement cleaning, ugh); of fairly quick projects (order wardrobe handles) and long-term efforts (paint the entire apartment). For those that take a bit more time, I have to figure out how to break it up into manageable chunks so the task doesn’t seem horribly overwhelming. Believe it or not, this is where having a blog comes in super handy. It forces me to make enough progress to come to a good stopping point to write about.

As you can see, I actually washi-taped my handwritten list to my desk. This is a lot more well-thought-out than it seems.

Obviously a mental list is out, given how forgetful I am. I find it’s better to make it a tangible list, rather than an electronic one (I make SO MANY electronic lists that there’s no hope of finding a long-term list amongst all the daily to-dos). Taping the list to the desk feels more permanent than a slip of paper floating around. And it’s prominent but not obtrusive (like on a large whiteboard or somesuch), so I don’t feel like my goals are lording over me.

And finally: nothing gets added to this list. I try not to buy supplies for new projects or abandon these in favor of some other idea that struck my fancy that week. These are my GOALS and I want to reach them!

I don’t pay attention to the list every day, but I visit it at least every week or so. That’s when I decide what I’ll tackle within the next week... and when I get to check things off! I’ve been making decent progress this summer, considering it’s a fairly ambitious list. I won’t get through everything, but I’ll check off a good number of them before September!

So there’s my simple, more-function-than-form solution to decorating ADD. Believe me, I completely understand that writing and taping a to-do list to your desk is not revolutionary. But it’s a good place to start when I’m feeling blah and overwhelmed about all the projects I’d like to do in our home, and I never have to wonder what to work on next. And while this works for me well enough, I’d still love to hear what works for you! Hooray for setting and reaching goals!


Tina said...

Waaaay better than my lists put into a notebook and shelved... Life happens and the notebooks get forgotten. For long times. It's kinda sad to come across one from thirty years ago and read those long lost goals...
Today I use a 16x20 frame w/glass that I covered the inside picture with toile gift wrap. I use a liquid chalk pen to write my goals on it. It hangs in our laundry room so I do see it occasionally and others rarely do. Some things get swiped off due to completion, others due to losing their importance to me, changing my mind or realizing their total improbability of ever happening. Swiping that goal gives culmination or eliminates the guilt, and a little grief - it's seeming to work best for me.

Janice said...

You got this girl. You'll have attained those goals in no time flat. Well, the painting will take a little more time. Good luck!