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Motivate, Modify, and Makeover in Just 15 Minutes a Day
Follow the Three Potato Rule
Sounds like a formula for an infomercial.
Nevertheless, the most significant change that most people need to make is to stop procrastinating, or One Potato.
The second is to allocate your energies towards organizing your home and life. I call this the Possession Purging Process, Two Potato.
The third objective of the Three Potato Rule is that you compensate yourself.
Tackle Your Dreaded Jobs like Peeling Potatoes in the Army
I had a very good friend assigned to work in a kitchen during his basic training; not what a college graduate expected to do.
In 1967, the Army did not use instant potatoes, so his job was to peel eight 50-pound bags of potatoes during his shift.
Most days he dreaded going to work. An old timer took pity on him and told him to turn his stool around, move the potato bag close to the back of his stool, and reach for a potato without turning around.
The old timer told him, “You only peel one potato at a time; no sense looking at all of them, it’s overwhelming.”
Do you have tasks that you put off because you tell yourself there's not enough time to complete the task?
People Procrastinate For a Number Of Reasons:
- They are afraid they will do something incorrectly or wrong
- They believe that others will judge their efforts
- They believe something cannot be done without a lot of effort
- They are waiting to be inspired or for the “right” moment to do something
- They believe that if they do it well, expectations on them will increase
- They believe they do not have enough time to do it
- They would rather be doing something else
- They spend more time on a pros and cons for doing something than actually doing it
- They do not know how to do something
- They create lists of what they need to do, as if they cannot see what needs doing
- They spend more time on their lists, than it would take them to do the task
- They are ambivalent about doing something
- They are “not in the mood” to do something
- They typically wait until the last minute
- They believe in the myth of working best under pressure
- They have no comprehension or clear idea of how long a task will take to complete
- They “forget” to do something
Regardless of the reasons for the procrastination, people will oftentimes feel guilty for not getting something done.
So, how do you overcome the procrastination and prevent the guilt?
Getting Things Done: Efficiently and Effectively
1) Decide What Motivates You the Most
Money motivates many people. Payment for a job done well is a deciding factor in most employment/employee relationships. Individuals understand that they must adhere to a certain level of performance in order to sustain their employment.
Using this same rationale in your personal life can help you make dreaded tasks easier to accomplish. If money has value for you and is important to you, pay yourself to do the tasks you balk at and put off.
Remember the concept of an allowance; taking out the trash was worth a quarter. Given inflation, you might net $5.00 for that task today.
At that rate, if you work 15 minutes a day for seven days, you would pay yourself $35.00. For the month, you would pay yourself $140.00.
Is Money Tight and You Cannot Afford to Pay Yourself?
Then take 15 minutes to do something you like without feeling guilty.
- Reading a book
- Reading online
- Playing a game with your family
- Playing a game online
- Taking a walk
The point it to pay yourself by whatever means you have at your disposal to feel rewarded for doing the dreaded tasks.
Three Potato Secret
- One: Stop Procrastinating
- Two: Purge Possessions
- Three: Pay yourself
Modify How You Spend Your Time
2) Make a commitment to modify how and why you spend your time; not doing what you usually do.
“How often do you find yourself saying, “In a minute”, “I’ll get to it” or “Tomorrow’s good enough” and every other possible excuse in the book? Compare it with how often you decide it’s got to be done, so let’s get on and do it! That should tell you just how serious your procrastinating problem really is.” ― Stephen Richards, Overcoming Procrastination
Many people are unaware of how they spend their time just that it is fleeting. Yet, we all have the same amount of time in any given day, 24 hours exactly. However, people who procrastinate have difficulty deciding how to spend their time efficiently.
Do you see from this Article that you actually do have time to complete a dreaded task?
Makeover Your Schedule
3) Time Management is a problem for many people. Make over your schedule to reflect your new priority.
Stop putting off doing small things towards the larger goal because of the illusion that there is not enough time to get something done correctly.
Most of us have 15 minutes to get it started towards correcting something.
For help in overcoming procrastination and clutter, block out 15 minute each day to tackle the largest most objectionable tasks.
Then follow through with the task.
If you only work 15 minutes a day, you can get 1 hour and 45 minutes of concentrated work per week towards your project or 7 hours per month.
You Work on the Task for 15 Minutes Each Day of the Week
Spend 15 minutes a day performing your most dreaded task.
“Someday is not a day of the week.”
― Janet Dailey
Your Trash-Their Treasure
Most people have possessions that do not continue to serve their purpose; they no longer help you stay organized or they no longer fit your new décor.
Of course, there are things that you still have an emotional attachment to that do not serve a purpose and to some, they simply take up space. Each of us has knick-knacks from a relative that we cannot bring ourselves to get rid of, typically out of guilt.
So what do most of us do with this stuff? We put it away, box it up, shove it in a closet, or in some way, try to hide it or store it.
Then we run out of space for the things that should actually be in the basement, garage or closet.
We may even buy decorative baskets or boxes so that the hidden object now fits our look, but what purpose does the disguised object serve?
Clutter Causes Conflict
There is a reason that the shows depicting the conflict that hoarding causes makes people uncomfortable or gives them a false sense of security about their own clutter.
If the crew of Hoarders has not knocked on your door, how bad can it be is becoming a familiar catch phrase, however, the clutter is still building up, people cannot find what they need when they need it and clutter causes us to be late.
Make a D-Day Beginning
D-day is the first day that you tackle the Dreaded Task. For some people, the basement and garage seem too big to tackle first, so start with the closets.
Grab trash bags and four cardboard moving boxes. If you have a family that contributes to the clutter, have a bag ready for each of them.
One box is for donations, one box is for you or your family member to decide, within a week, if you can emotionally release this object, another box is your Trash to Cash Box and the fourth is for recycling.
Go from room to room and collect all those things that you have not worn in a year, no longer fit, or are outdated. They go into the donation or Trash to Cash box.
Someone will benefit from them. When you have no clothes, fashion is not a high priority; ask any survivor of a hurricane or tornado. Become familiar with donation sites in your area, or nationally.
If it is trash, put it in the trash bag, and when it is full, take it to the side of the road or put in the a larger container for pick-up, or put it in your trunk to haul off.
Recycle all of your papers and other materials that fit this category.
Trash to Cash: Only Keep it a Month until Your Sale
If you know you will have a yard, garage or basement sale, and money motivates you, the Trash to Cash Box is an effective way to organize; however, it only stays if you will have the sale within a limited period, no more than a month.
You Realize That You Will Not Have a Sale, but Want to Make Money
Inquire about consignment sales, resale stores, and pawnshops. A good article is The Beginner’s Guide to Consignment Stores, Thrift Shops and More.
This article gives you resources for creative approaches to earning money from your unwanted and unnecessary items.
You will find some items that can be recycled but not donated. Papers that do not need to be kept for the IRS or your accountant can be recycled.
Put these items in a box labeled Recycling and put out on the correct day or take to a pick up point in your area.
Many people are not aware of what can be recycled. Learn what can be recycled and the benefits of recycling.
Fulfill your 15 minutes; see how you feel, and if you are pleased, you can add 15 more minutes.
Pay yourself when you have finished. Spend it on something that you see as a reward or save it.
Even if it takes you the month to accomplish your task, you will feel better with it organized.
© 2013 Marilyn L Davis