How to Increase Motivation . . Or The Art Of An Effective List

How to Increase Motivation - Increased productivity if critical for success. By learning to create a well managed to do list, we can increase our motivation to complete projectsHow to Increase Motivation . . Or The Art Of An Effective List

Some days I’m super-woman.  Other days, I feel more like a girl version of Homer Simpson.  I just want to be a lazy slacker.

Finding motivation to be productive after a long day of work can be torturous sometimes.  By the time I get home, I’m ready to just relax and waste time.  Once I start doing something I’m fine, it is getting myself up and going that is challenging and that is where motivation comes in.

Lately, I’ve been on a home organization kick.

While finding excuses not to clean, I ran across an awesome blog called The Sunny Side Up written by a friend of mine from High School.  Erin’s blog rocks and was such an inspiration to me.  If you have a few minutes (actually it will take more than a few minutes) check it out.

Motivations Comes in a Variety of Forms

I bring up Erin’s blog because motivation comes in a variety of forms.  I’m not a very organized person by nature.  I hate cleaning, I hate organizing, I hate decorating and all that fun stuff that makes a house a home.

Hate might be a slightly strong word, but you get the point, I’m not Martha Stewart.  However, I really, really hate having a dirty disorganized home.

Lately, Aaron and I have both been working 50+ hours per week and everything in my house is just disorganized.

It isn’t dirty, just very, very cluttered.  It is driving me up the wall.  I’ve got three different loads of laundry scattered around my bedroom and my home office looks like a bomb exploded (I’m working on taxes, so at least I have an excuse).

So anyway, back to my original point and my friend’s blog.

Start Small and Find One Area to Organize

While procrastinating the other day I started reading through some of her organization techniques and one of the points she made is, start small and find one area to organize.

It can be as simple as organizing one drawer.

  • Set the drawer your goal and do it.
  • Don’t get distracted or start another project in the middle.
  • Even if you only spend 15 minutes on your chosen project, the point is you did it and can cross something off your list.

As I was thinking about her simple advice it occurred to me that I have a list problem.  I write list all the time, the problem is that they get out of control.  Before I know what is happening my list is 4 pages long. Once my list gets that long I lose all motivation.

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

I bite off more than I can chew all the time.  Life is about living in moderation, which means that it is okay to take my 4-page list and toss it in the trash.  It is time to revamp my list and start small.

So, instead of tackling the whole house I’ve decided to focus on one part of the house each week.

Last week I started in the kitchen.  Over the last week, I’ve spent an extra 15 minutes in there each day just organizing.  I started with my spices, then went to my three drawers of silverware, spatulas and all the fun miscellaneous cooking stuff.  I still need to clean out my pantry and my misc. cupboard, but my small steps have made a huge difference.

I know it sounds stupid, but each time I open up my drawers I just get this goofy little smile on my face.  Everything just looks so much cleaner and more organized.

Now I just have to train the kids to put everything away in the right place – easier said than done.

Motivation isn’t just about the list, it is about making the list manageable. 

As you learn to create a more management list, all of a sudden you find yourself accomplishing your list.  It becomes a positive cycle that is addictive.

The goal is to understand your individual limitation and working within those limits.

I don’t have unlimited time or resources, but I do have an extra 15-30 minutes each day that I can spend on little projects around the home.

As I’m able to check off the little projects each day I’m more and more motivated to accomplish just a little bit more.

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