The Stuff Specialist

To Keep It or Not and How


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Defeat the Garage

Well I have to keep my garage, but I don’t have to keep all the stuff that is in it, or the dirt.

My garage is a two car garage.  We have no outdoor buildings, so it not only keeps our cars, it also keeps our yard and garden tools and supplies, besides the usual outdoor play toys.  And I’m sure before I’m done claiming it as mine once again I’ll find things that I didn’t even remember existed.

I have decided to attack the garage slow and steady using a tool I call A Timed Focus.  This basic tool is my favorite go to.  A Timed Focus is simply a preset amount of time to work toward a certain goal.  I usually use 20 minutes.  I use this tool to counter feelings of overwhelm, the feeling of not having enough time, guilt for not doing.  A Timed Focus can also help me break down larger projects into more doable projects by working on them without draining my brain power and my want to.

I’ll use A Timed Focus to work on my garage.  It’s a very big project.  A hot and dirty place to work and frankly I don’t like working in there.  But I can do just about any project for 20 minutes.

Here how it works.  Use a timer that is loud enough to be heard over any noise you maybe making and from whatever space or spaces you may be working from.  Know exactly what your goal is.  For my garage it is to get it clutter free and cleaned.

My first task is to gather all tools, separate them into keep and not to keep, then store what I’m keeping.  I know this will take many Timed Focuses.  But it pleases me to know that 20 minutes a day is doable and I will be making daily progress on a big and yucky job.

Once you defined your single focus and before you set the timer commit to the 20 minutes, just 20, you can do it.  Once you start the timer don’t touch it.  Keep moving on your goal, no matter how you feel.  When the time is over, stop.  Take a good look at what you’ve done and celebrate the progress.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with a project.  Often I can over estimate the time it would take to complete a project.  I then find myself saying, “I don’t have enough time to get it done now.  I‘ll work on it later when I have more time.”  As you have probably guessed I don’t have more time later.  With A Timed Focus I am amazed at how much I can accomplish.

Three things happen in my thinking.

1 – I can do 20 minutes whether I feel like it or not.  There is a beginning and an end.

2 – The guilt is gone for not doing the project to begin with.  I feel good about the progress.

3 – Once I’ve completed my 20 minutes my thoughts are free to focus on other things.  The annoying thought of “I should be ….” is replaced with “I’ve done….”

So garage here I come with timer in hand.  Prepare yourself to surrender.