Don't plan: a spiral-bound notebook, open to a blank page, with a ripped out and screwed-up page on it and also a chewed orange eraser-tipped pencil

Fail to plan and plan to fail” Benjamin Franklin

Last week, I shared that I’d made a mental shift
…which had led to me dedicating enough time to completing my Digital Decluttering video course by the end of March.
And I promised to share another (relearned) lesson this week.
This will be my fourth video course (following Declutter Paper and Paperwork, Declutter Your Bedroom and Declutter Sentimental Stuff.
And I have to confess…
…producing each one has followed the same pattern.
It looks something like this…
1. Decide to make video course
2. Ask Green and Tidiers what course you’d like
3. Get all excited about the ideas
4. identify the most popular idea
5. Start scripting
6. Work on course around other work…
…getting increasingly anxious about how much time’s passing
7. Set myself a deadline
(usually because I want to launch the course before I go on holiday or something – something that means I won’t be ABLE to work on the course)
8. Work increasingly frantically as the deadline approaches
9. Meet the deadline by the skin of my teeth
10. Collapse in an exhausted heap!
11. Internally promise not to make the same mistake again!
12. Make the same mistake again!
What the !&#£@!
I TRAIN people to be organised.
So how come I’ve got myself in this situation four times now?!
Answer: because I don’t know how long making a video course TAKES!
It’s been new territory for me…
…and I’ve been learning my way around it.
So…THIS time, I’ve been recording all the time I spend producing the course.
(Yes, in a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are the bomb!)
So that, when I come to produce my FIFTH course…
…I’ll be able to plan it properly.
Now…..back to decluttering and organising….
If you’ve got a major clutter backlog to tackle…
…and you’ve never taken it on before…
…you probably don’t know how long it’s going to take.
You need a plan.
But without knowing how long it takes, you can’t make one!
And that can make the whole thing seem so overwhelming…
That’s why one of the best ways to tackle overwhelm is to START!
Start first and make a plan afterwards.
Yes, really!
Do one or two sessions…
…and see how long it takes.
THEN, armed with that information…
…create a schedule for clearing your whole backlog…
PS Don’t forget to UNDER-estimate how much you can do in a decluttering session.
If you finish early, you can always do another area whereas…
…if you run out of time, you’ll end up dispirited, demotivated and even more overwhelmed.
Are you taking on a major declutter? How long are you expecting it to take? Comment below.

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