It’s common that when you begin a big project your excitement is at an all-time high. This is because the adrenaline is pumping. You know what finishing this project will mean. But a few days in your motivation begins to wane and you don’t know why. You find it difficult to stay motivated. And you know that when you take on an organizing project it demands your utmost attention.
If you find yourself losing steam or thinking about other projects, it’s normal. You begin to think this project is larger than you anticipated and you won’t be able to finish it. But you can and you must!
The trick? Figuring out ways to stay motivated. And today, we’re discussing exactly that. Motivation is especially important for organizing projects. It helps you stay consistent and see the task through to completion.
Any good productivity coach or consultation will tell you that deadlines are key to success. Whether they’re deadlines set by a superior or yourself, setting a date for when you want to finish something tells your brain it’s time to get to work.
That’s why creating a deadline is the first tip to stay motivated on a big organizing project.
But choosing a deadline often trips people up. When should you finish? In a week? A month? 90 days? It can be overwhelming to pick a deadline because you don’t want to burn yourself out. But you also don’t want to spend too long on one project.
Our best advice? Give yourself a preliminary deadline. A month is always a safe place to start. Then once you begin the project, you’ll start to see your progress in a more clear light.
Remember that you can always adjust your deadline. Life happens. Unexpected obstacles happen. So long as you stick to your deadline — with a few days as leeway — you’ll finish whatever you set your mind to.
We begin most projects with a purpose. You want to exercise more to lose weight and feel healthy. You want to save for a house so you can start a family. You want to nail that work presentation and secure a promotion. There is a why behind every project you do, no matter how big or small.
One way to stay motivated on an organizing project is to remember your why. Why are you organizing in the first place? Is it to get your home in order? Is it to find some clarity in your otherwise chaotic life?
Take a few minutes to sit down and really ask yourself, “Why?” Write your answer down on a sticky note or a piece of paper. Put it somewhere you’ll see it every day. This way, when you feel your motivation slipping, you can look at your why and remember.
Don’t ever feel ashamed for needing to remember your why. In fact, keeping that front and center is proven to give you a boost of confidence and motivation.
Once you’re in the thick of an organizing project, it’s a good idea to track your progress. This is good for two reasons. First, by breaking your large project into smaller tasks, you’re going to feel constant victory every time you finish something. Second, by actually seeing your progress your motivation spikes and you’re more inclined to keep going.
Habit tracking has become popular over the last few years. It’s the simple act of tracking things like exercising, not spending money, and more. Each day you do it, you make a little mark and it shows you tangible results. This way if you miss a day or two you can look back, see all the other days you actually did it, and feel better.
One way you can track your progress during an organizing project is to create a list of everything you want to do. Yes, a massive list will feel overwhelming. But once you begin checking or crossing things off you’re going to see your progress and feel that boost of motivation.
Another motivating tip in the productivity field is getting yourself an accountability buddy. This is someone you report your progress to. Not necessarily a supervisor, but a friend or colleague. Someone who will ask you, “How are things going?” and you tell them honestly.
A good accountability buddy will improve your motivation and provide insight if you’re feeling stuck. And when it comes to a big organizing project, you may get stuck every now and then. You feel confident about your plan, but something goes wrong and you’re not sure what to do.
Ask your accountability buddy. They’re not just there to hear your progress. Lean on them for advice, guidance, and tough love if needed. The idea of an accountability buddy has become so popular that there are websites and apps created specifically for pairing you with someone. One app called Supporti does exactly that.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when tackling an organizing project is rushing through the process. They think that by getting it done quickly they will feel better. But working too fast can be a one-way road to burnout. It also hinders motivation.
If you want to stay motivated, it’s important to take breaks. Consider your deadline and make a plan from there. Can you dedicate an hour a day to this project? What about 30 minutes? If you plan to work on your organizing project an hour a day for five days a week that’s plenty. Allow yourself the weekends to relax and unwind.
Tackling any large project is a worthwhile endeavor, but you need to take care of yourself while doing it. If one day you feel incapable of working on the project, give yourself a day. Remember that habit tracker I mentioned earlier? One missed day won’t undo all the progress you made.
And remember to have fun. Organizing is meant to bring you peace. Get creative with how you approach your project and don’t be afraid to take risks.
Another amazing motivating tip in the productivity industry is the reward system. While reward systems work great for children and chores, adults can benefit from it as well. When you take on a big organizing project, you’re going to spend a lot of time on it. You deserve a special reward when you get it all done.
The reward itself can vary, but it should be significant. Don’t do something small like buying yourself an ice cream cone. The reward shouldn’t be something you can do on any given day. It should be special.
If you’re taking on a big project, make the reward worthy of it. Book a weekend getaway. Purchase some new wardrobe pieces. When you make the reward something special, your motivation stays intact and you’ll work harder to hit that deadline.
Share your reward with your accountability buddy. Write your reward down on your progress tracker. Add it to your why sticky note. When you’re reminded of the reward, you’re going to keep your motivation up and that organizing project will be done before you know it.
Staying motivated on a big organizing project can be difficult at times. It requires some discipline, consistency, and drive. But if you keep looking at the big picture you’re going to find it easy to stick with.
But if you do find it hard to keep your motivation up, know that we can help. We offer full home downsizing and decluttering services and we’d be happy to help you with any organizing project you have. Schedule your free consultation call today and let’s see how we can help you stay motivated and complete that organizing project together.
How do you stay motivated on big projects? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.
Photo: Prateek Katyal
September 12, 2022