How do you eat an elephant? This is the only answer

Do you know how you eat an elephant?  I mean, if you really had to, would know where to start?

Of course I am being facetious. I don’t think you should eat an elephant. But when it comes to getting organized, that is exactly what I see people try to do.

They try to literally eat an elephant – whole!

And by eat an elephant, I mean they take on the task of getting organized and think it needs to be done in one fell-swoop. Which of course it doesn’t.

In fact, trying to get organized that way will only lead you to overwhelm and more stress. And in the case of eating an elephant a bit of indigestion.

The best way to “get organized” is to do so one step at a time.

It isn’t an answer that offers much in the way of instant gratification. But it is the only answer to help you continually make progress on such a big, and often-daunting task.

Here are some tips to getting organized that will leave you feeling satiated.

1. Break it down.

Determine what areas need to be organized. Whether it is the kitchen, your bedroom closet, or your mudroom shelves each should be seen as a separate project. And then each project should be broken down into smaller, more manageable parts. This alone makes the task of organizing more appealing.

2. Schedule in blocks of time.

Once you have an idea of the parts that need to be organized I suggest you schedule small blocks of time to start the purging and lightening of the load. When you schedule small chunks of time you reduce overwhelm. This allows you to complete small tasks within the larger project like purging one drawer vs an entire desk. Or clearing off one shelf instead of the whole mudroom. Small tasks completely successfully leave you feeling accomplished. And that feeling is contagious.

3. Pat yourself on the back.

Every bit of hard work deserves a reward. When you take some time to pat yourself on the back for a job well done you build your esteem. You give yourself a much needed boost of confidence in your ability to get organized. It is a learned process, after all. Taking the time to reflect on the project, and track your progress is all part of taking on the task of getting organized in a more measured way.

There is no rush to the finish line. Getting organized is a process that can yield even greater results when you do embrace it methodically, one step at a time.

Don’t eat the elephant whole. You’ll have more success in the long run if you start with the toe.

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  • […] all the necessary steps to declutter. Pick an area of the room you wish to declutter. I call this not eating the elephant whole and highly recommend you do this to avoid being overwhelmed. Then, empty it – a closet, a […]

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