Make a list: I write out everything I need to do, and list out the components of a task if it’s too general. ‘Spring cleaning’ is too vague- I break that down into individual tasks so I can estimate how much time each one will take. Then I prioritize the list. Ideally, I’d try to do one high priority a day and if time permits, a quick low/medium priority item.
Review: Each morning, I review the list. Knowing what's on the list helps me take advantage of unexpected opportunities to tackle one of the items. My favorite software for lists are Google documents and RememberTheMilk.com. I can access those anywhere, they complement my Google calendar, and they can text me reminders. I also auto-populate reminders in my calendar for semi-annual items such as checking my credit report. If one day is so busy I can’t get to my list, I double up the next day. Items are crossed off the list as soon as they are done.
Do it smart: I bundle like tasks together. For example, if I’m running to drop off the dry cleaning, I’ll hit the bank right next door or I will clean out the fridge right before we do our next grocery shopping trip. If I can take a lunch break one week to knock out 4 errands, that’s worth it to me. I add to the list as I go along—including fun, relaxing and necessary things to make sure I am making the time to take care of me.
Bite size: I break it down into manageable bite sizes, and commit to at least 20 minutes a day to do what needs to be done. If a single task (ie: organize my closet) is overwhelming, then I break it down into tasks that can wrangle it under control.
So I might start with:
- Remove laundry from closet, and do it as you can.
- Remove items that are awaiting repair from closet into a designated box.
- Drop off any items needing dry cleaning.
- Organize shoes.
- Organize purses.
- Look for items you no longer wear- and figure out why you aren’t wearing them. Decide to store, donate or repair.
- Evaluate current storage methods and find out why it’s not working (do you need a better system? more shelves or boxes?)
Create zones: I also create zones that I can clean easily- I may not have 90 minutes in one sitting to clean my room, but I can spend a quick 15-20 minutes focused time tidying up my desk or wiping down the bath before bed.
Take care of you: Get enough sleep, sex and exercise. Eat well. Snuggle. It just helps you deal better when you feel overwhelmed and unmotivated.