When you’re looking around or trying to figure out where to start on any type of cleaning, organizing, decluttering, tidying, or overwhelming project, the reason you don’t know where to start is because you have too many options – there are too many places you could pick to start.
If you want to do yard work, but the entire yard needs some major TLC – limbs to be picked, up, items that need to go to storage/garage, weeding in flowerbeds, shrubbery trimmed, pine straw or leaves to be raked, patio or deck or entry way to be power washed, walkways to be blown, etc (you fill in the blank) – then you could actually start doing any one of the tasks and get yourself into momentum. But where do you start? I usually decide where to start based on 2 options – what’s going to make the biggest difference or impact on the yard looking better if I do it first (weeding flower beds is an instant visual progress for me) OR what is super easy to do (putting an item away into it’s proper storage place is one step closer.)
If you want to get some things done in your office, but items have been stacked up or scattered everywhere, then again you have many options of where you can start – and any of them will work! – but maybe getting items off the floor is a good place for you to start, so your space feels more open and you can think more clearly. Perhaps, it will be clearing off your office desk and then putting your to-do list (or to-do stacks) on the clear desk to get things done. But maybe, for you, you could file. However, if you don’t have a file system set up, then your starting place can be to create file folders. Or else, those papers that you know could be filed away won’t happen.
Here’s some more examples:
You want to clean the kitchen, but it’s blown up in the last 24 hours. You feel stuck. You have several starting point options – usually emptying the dishwasher is a big step that gets people going; or maybe you can start with emptying the garbage pail, so you can scrape dishes/pots, toss empty containers, clean out leftovers from fridge, etc.; or maybe your best starting point would be to empty one side of the kitchen sink!
You can take any room in a house or office and see the same situation happening – oh crap, where do I start? You have too many starting options, so just pick one! In a bedroom, making the bed is a great visual accomplishment that can get you going – or perhaps for you, a bigger impact would be picking up all the laundry off the floor. In a living area, getting all the cushions and throw pillows fluffed on the sofa (and removing any items tossed on the end arm rests) would be a great first move for you. And, if you’re trying to figure out how to tackle a lot of laundry, then start with small loads – so folding and putting items away won’t be such an overwhelming chore. It’s okay to wash small loads! Do it all day if you must, because it’s better than trying to tackle too big of loads that you know you aren’t going to get put away properly if it overwhelms you.
Now, what is something you’d like to accomplish today, but it feels a bit intimidating? You have a lot of starting places, so pick one (you don’t even have to work it out in your head to figure out the “smartest” place to start) and just do it. Once you are in momentum, keep a steady pace to get as much done as you can while your “getting things done” ball is rolling.
It’s thru action that things happen. Thinking about things too much is often a great waste of time. Don’t think, move. Pick just one thing to do to get started.