Organisation & People Performance Inspired Honey Blog

August 25, 2008

Don’t Be All Or Nothing

You may be reluctant to start an organising project because you only like to start things that you know you can finish in one session. I must admit, as a mother, it’s easier to only pull out what you know you can put back safely in an hour or less.

But waiting until you can do ‘the whole thing’ often ends up in nothing getting done.
It is better to start something and progress a little, then to not start something and to not progress at all. Very often organising projects that don’t get started, get worse over time.

Remember, “how do you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time of course.

If it’s really difficult for you to leave projects unfinished, your best bet is to give yourself ‘smaller’ projects that you can complete in less time. It will also mean you are more likely to suceed. And nothing breeds success like success.

You may want to organise your desk, but you know it’s going to take you a few hours, and you can’t seem to find a few open hours in your schedule.
Organising the entire desk might be too large of a goal. But, if you say to yourself that you’re going to clear off the papers from the top of the desk today, empty out the top drawer tomorrow, organise the files the next day. Once you’ve given yourself projects that can be started, and completed, within short spurts of time, your ‘all or nothing’ tendency will be satisfied. Put the champers on ice and get started!


  1. I agree. Sometimes it’s about dreading even writing a to-do list because it fills you with worry and frustration that you haven’t done any of the itmes on that list – and may not be likely to! Making looming projects more bite-size definitely helps!

    Comment by Vanessa Caale — September 4, 2008 @ 5:28 am

  2. whenever i achieve something, I like to cross it off the list or diary and feel really good about it. That’s why I like to put lots of goals on my to-do list – even small things. It means I accomplish more – and forget less!

    Comment by Nathan Fletch — September 4, 2008 @ 5:31 am

  3. So true! at we say do your organising in 20 min lots so it doesn’t become overwhelming.
    Thanks for visiting our blog.

    Comment by Sally Ann — September 5, 2008 @ 12:00 am

  4. […] Inspired Honey has a post about the “all or nothing” conundrum when it comes to de-cluttering. Natasha makes some great points about how to get around this habit. (Or should I say curse?) Amongst other things she says “Remember, “how do you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time of course.” It is worth checking out her blog for handy tips on living an organised life. […]

    Pingback by All or nothing « Adminbandit’s Weblog — September 21, 2008 @ 10:27 am

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