How to declutter your mind! – Do the whole task at once

I don’t know about you but my mind is sometimes overflowing with tasks to be done.   With a big IT project at work in the last few weeks before launch taking all my time and energy, admin and other tasks have been piling up at home with the post bringing yet more in envelope after envelope.

I have been in catch-up mode for the last week, sorting through all the papers, opening the envelopes and throwing yet more paper into the recycling.

One of the things I have been thinking about is the best way to stop adding to my to-do list.   Although we have been recommended small steps as the best way of starting to declutter, some tasks should have all their steps completed so that they don’t become more mental clutter and end up as yet another line on the never-ending to do list.

For example, I pay the salaries every month to staff of my husband’s small company.  Once the salaries I paid, I have to write a cheque for tax and NI which I send to our accountants to pay to the Inland Revenue.  I used to pay the salaries and then write the cheque nearer the deadline for payments. Needless to say, one month I nearly missed the deadline and had to hand deliver a cheque to our accountants.  After that, I decided to make writing and posting the cheque part of the salaries task.  This means that I don’t have to constantly have in the back of my mind that I need to write a cheque in a few weeks and it makes one less thing on my task list.

Other tasks that are best done as one, even though they have several steps are:

  • replying to school notes that need a cheque written and put in an envelope – do it the day you get the note, put it in your child’s school bag and relax
  • washing up, drying the dishes and putting them away (much better than coming down to washing up to do or dishes to put away first thing in the morning) 
  • sorting and putting away clothes as soon as they are dry – don’t put it off like I used to until our spare bed was covered in a sock and knicker mountain which was very disheartening
  • unpacking suitcases as soon as you get back from holiday rather than several days later and getting all the holiday clothes washing started as soon as you can.  (The great and wonderful Flylady suggests washing clothes in the last few days of your holiday if convenient to do so, so that you don’t return with a huge laundry pile; I have tried this and, as long as you have good washing and drying facilities on holiday, it works really well,)

 Back to the admin catch-up now!

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