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Getting It Together: Fifth, Clean Up Your List

If you are following along in order, first, we made a little time & second, we defined what having it together would look like. Third, we made a list of the things in our way. In the last post, we figured out where to start. And now, let’s get started.

Willow Glen, red leaf, water drops
Baby Step 5: Clean Up Your List

It’s time to get things out of the way and to set things up for that more “together” life we defined in Baby Step 2.

  1. Do the First Thing. Use the time you freed up in Baby Step 1 to knock out the thing you picked in Baby Step 4 as the first thing to do.
  2. Pat Yourself on the Back. When you finish the first thing, smile a little. Do a little happy dance. Tell someone. Cross it off the list you made in Baby Step 3. For some things, you might want to give yourself a reward for your hard work.
  3. Pick the Next Thing. Using the same process as in Baby Step 4, pick the next item.
  4. Do the Second Thing. Use the momentum from finishing the first thing to help you finish the next thing on your list.
  5. Repeat Until Done. Choose. Do. Celebrate.

Ways to Make This Easier

  • Use your calendar to block off the time you created in Baby Step 1. Make repeating appointments with yourself to knock out your “get it together” items.
  • If your days or weeks aren’t predictable in advance, then take a few minutes to schedule “get it together” time on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Consistency helps. Try to work on your list every day or nearly every day until you get it done.
  • Create your own intensity. Set a deadline for each part of each project to help you keep after it.
  • Don’t wait until you “feel like” doing the least attractive projects on your list. Since you haven’t done them yet, it’s possible that you won’t ever feel all that much like doing them.
  • Rejoice (even a little) as you make progress.
  • When you get to the bigger projects, break them into smaller chunks so they won’t seem overwhelming. It’s easier to see progress on smaller tasks (and therefore, it’s easier to stay motivated to get them done).
  • Keep reading productivity tips for new ideas and inspiration. This helps me when I want a little encouragement.
  • Remember where you’re heading… keep a mental picture of what “getting it together” looks like for you.
  • Look for ways to simplify as you go.
  • As appropriate, enlist help from family members, friends, coworkers, or people you can hire.
  • If you feel overwhelmed, remember another big goal that you conquered in the past. Remind yourself, “Yes, I can do it.”
  • Share with a friend. If you know someone else who is working on their own list, share progress and encourage each other.

Don’t forget (even if you don’t believe it), you are already amazing, so this whole process is not about worrying or feeling bad about the state of your life right now. Almost all of us have changes we’d like to make to create a “more together” life.

Baby Step 5 is most likely going to take some time, so be kind to yourself while working on your list.

Other Posts in This Series

Getting It Together: First, Free Up a Little Time

Getting It Together: Second, Define “It”

Getting It Together: What’s in the Way?

Getting It Together: Fourth, Pick a Place to Start

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