When you want to do it but don’t want to do it


Have you ever had a project you want to do but you can’t seem to get started because it’s “nice to have” but not that important?

All the time?!

Yeah, me too.

I’ve been meaning to clean up my office for a long time but haven’t started for no better reason than it will take me a lot of time and I’m not sure it’s worth it.

I have a lot of papers and files left over from my pre-digital days. I’ll probably never use most of it, but I can’t be sure unless I go through everything.

Nice to have, but not that important.

I saw a video that suggested a good way to get started. The presenter suggested we take everything out of its “regular home” (cabinets, drawers, etc.) and move it temporally to some other place. Pile it up in a corner of the room, for example.

Things look different when they’re not in their usual home. And there’s something about seeing empty drawers and shelves that makes it easier to decide what you want to keep.

I like it, but it would take hours of tedious sorting and I can think of other things I’d rather do.

So I procrastinated. For months. And would probably still be procrastinating if I hadn’t found another solution.

I scheduled a 15-minute recurring task for every Saturday, dedicated to cleaning one drawer or shelf.

It’s only 15 minutes. It’s only one drawer. I can do this.

And I’ve been doing this for several Saturdays and made a lot of progress. Enjoying it, actually.

If you want to do something but resist starting, figure out a way to make the project easier. . . and it will be easier to start.