There is a Biblical verse that has become part of my daily routine and is a motivator for my daily actions. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might”. Sometimes we take too much time deciding what to do that we end up doing nothing. We debate the merits of actions, what is a higher priority, why we need to do it, etc. We take time to plan, ,which is not bad, but we end up like the proverbial centipede lying in the ditch unable to walk because it can’t decide which leg to start with first.
To do lists can be a help to get work done, but often we have plans without timelines or first steps and end up debating again. I am a great planner but often a relunctant doer – sometimes because the things that I know are the most important to do are the least desirable.
I find that quick action leads to solutions and quick results. Even if the task is lower priority, doing it first can build momentum. I have found the wisdom of this once again while clearing out my sister’s mobile home. The task is overwhelming – the size of it is tiring just looking at it. I had plans as to “divide and conquer”, sectioning off the work to be done. I still think that will be good – and I will use that when I can gather a crew to help. But just starting a task can be liberating.
I chose to clean out the freezer and fridge first. Take a garbage bag and just toss things in, without thought just action. It tool 3 garbage bags, but it was quick to do when I just started. I moved on to the paperwork, collecting them in one place -still haven’t found the will:( I did find some important documents and it felt good to gather together in one place.
I then moved on to surface cleaning. I knew there were areas where I just needed to toss everything and so the garbage bags were handy. I have done 10 so far. I cleaned off the kitchen counter – big and cluttered – and took a picture of it cleaned. I did both bathrooms – both medicine and other supplies. I cleared off the front table -at least so I could see half of the surface – the phone and some important papers occupied the other half.
And then I cleared off the top of the entertainment center. I left a few things there – an oil lamp, 3 remotes (identical) and two nice sets of binoculars. And I cleared the top of a small cabinet near the kitchen. Some things I picked up, other stuff I just swept off with my gloved hands. There was so much trash and it just had to all go.. That helped to eliminate any decision making. There were some things that I set aside for Goodwill or other donations, and some that we might want to keep. But that was the vast minority.
There is still a huge amount to do, and I need help to do it. I spent 5 hours yesterday and just made a dent. But it was cathartic to clear out and satisfying to see pictures of places clean – reward in itself. Especially since I can compare the “before” pictures from the inspection. So when you are faced with a massive confusing task, try to find some smaller part that requires no preparation and just start. The action will give you energy to keep on.