Organizing by the Numbers

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Organizing and decluttering can be overwhelming. Where do you start? The answer is, you just pick a starting place and begin moving forward. Well, how do you do that?

Pick an NumberNumbers
You can pick a number of items, an hour of the day, or minutes to spend. Try the 27-Fling Boogie from the Fly Lady (she recommends crooning "Please Release Me, Let Me Go" as you toss). Or pick any other number of items that must go into the trash in the next few minutes.

 If you've got a backlog of boxes, tell yourself you'll sort whatever's in there until 10 a.m., or 2 p.m. Then you get to stop. You can do more later but in order to preserve your motivation, be true to your own word (i.e., be nice to yourself).

Try choosing a number of minutes to spend. Depending on what you're doing, even 5 minutes here and there will move you toward your goal. Have fun with it; pick a number out of a hat, roll the dice, use today's date or the amount of money that's in your wallet. 

Tricks are good! Another fun way to get your tasks done is to write them on index cards and then pick random cards when you're ready to work.

Do you have any fun ways to get yourself to organize when you don't really want to?

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10 thoughts on “Organizing by the Numbers

  1. Good Post!
    For me, a pot of VERY strong coffee gets me going! Cream, sugar–the works. In a nice tall cup. Sometimes a saucer, sometimes not. Does the trick… most the time!
    John

  2. Good Post!
    For me, a pot of VERY strong coffee gets me going! Cream, sugar–the works. In a nice tall cup. Sometimes a saucer, sometimes not. Does the trick… most the time!
    John

  3. My favorite way to get going is to use the old adage, “Do the worst first.” Make a prioritized list of all the things you have to do, and start with the one you hate the worst. That way, each successive task is easier, more enjoyable, more fun – instead of the reverse, which feels like a prison sentence!

  4. My favorite way to get going is to use the old adage, “Do the worst first.” Make a prioritized list of all the things you have to do, and start with the one you hate the worst. That way, each successive task is easier, more enjoyable, more fun – instead of the reverse, which feels like a prison sentence!

  5. John,
    I like how your “trick” has a practical aspect; the caffeine, and a pleasurable aspect; the nice cup, cream, sugar, maybe a saucer. So you can be nice to yourself and get things done!
    Zoomie,
    That’s a great idea. Productivity guru Brian Tracy has a similar technique that he calls “Eat That Frog!” After you’ve eaten a frog, anything else you do that day is easy.

  6. John,
    I like how your “trick” has a practical aspect; the caffeine, and a pleasurable aspect; the nice cup, cream, sugar, maybe a saucer. So you can be nice to yourself and get things done!
    Zoomie,
    That’s a great idea. Productivity guru Brian Tracy has a similar technique that he calls “Eat That Frog!” After you’ve eaten a frog, anything else you do that day is easy.

  7. Hay,
    Been reading this post over the last week, didn’t have any comment worthy. While I knew how I clean the clutter, it became more clear to me the other day.
    It’s a random, scatterbrained way of doing things. I’ll grab some clutter in the living room, remove to kitchen and toss or put in dishwasher. Then, while in the kitchen I’ll do some cleaning/washing/wiping, grab the dirty kitchen rag and put in to clothes hamper in the bedroom. While there will grab some recyclables or whathaveyou and move to the kitchen, grab more off the counter and put in bin outside.
    And so on, never staying in one area to completely finish anything, completely.
    Biggles

  8. Hay,
    Been reading this post over the last week, didn’t have any comment worthy. While I knew how I clean the clutter, it became more clear to me the other day.
    It’s a random, scatterbrained way of doing things. I’ll grab some clutter in the living room, remove to kitchen and toss or put in dishwasher. Then, while in the kitchen I’ll do some cleaning/washing/wiping, grab the dirty kitchen rag and put in to clothes hamper in the bedroom. While there will grab some recyclables or whathaveyou and move to the kitchen, grab more off the counter and put in bin outside.
    And so on, never staying in one area to completely finish anything, completely.
    Biggles

  9. Biggles,
    Actually, I like this technique. If you can stay in one spot long enough to organize it, great. But for those who get antsy or just need to move their bodies, doing what you describe works well to keep them on task. It can also feel more productive to be in motion, like getting off a non-moving freeway to drive city streets, even if it takes longer.

  10. Biggles,
    Actually, I like this technique. If you can stay in one spot long enough to organize it, great. But for those who get antsy or just need to move their bodies, doing what you describe works well to keep them on task. It can also feel more productive to be in motion, like getting off a non-moving freeway to drive city streets, even if it takes longer.

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