One of the things I have been working on incorporating into my life is a regular use of timers, particularly to help me start something that seems difficult, overwhelming, or just plain unpleasant.
I notice that when I have something to do that I'm putting off, if I just tell myself that I will work on it for 20 minutes, I can often finish the task, or at least take a big chunk out of it. It's how I've gotten most of the piles on my desk and surrounding areas down to one main pile and a list of the things that I still need to do.
Yesterday, when I needed to write the welcome letters to a retreat weekend that I am involved in, I was really dreading it. We have a template, but each letter has to be personalized depending on the circumstances of the individual, whether they will have a single or double room, and a variety of other factors. I told myself I would just work for 20 minutes, I set a timer, and I finished the first letter. One of the coordinators called me to add a paragraph, but because I hadn't yet printed out the letter, I was able to add it and had it ready for all the other letters. I printed them all out, along with directions to the retreat center and an emergency medical form, and called a couple of the people who are interested, so all I have to do now is address the envelopes. I feel happy that I have done this--for the first time for this retreat--and I am reminding myself that I have gotten more organized as I have been working on this retreat.
Today I set a timer to start addressing the envelopes, since they have to be done by hand, another tedious job. I got the packets together, signed the letters, added the emergency form, and the directions, stuck on stamps and put my return address on the envelopes, and have a neat stack of letters to go in the mail tomorrow.
I'm going to a business conference soon and I hate packing, but I used the idea of breaking an onerous task into smaller objectives. Several days ago, I checked off everything that goes into my valet kit.
Today I made sure that my makeup kit was complete, and I'll probably take care of my medicine kit first thing tomorrow. Then all I have to do is decide on the clothes to bring, and since I keep a list of combinations from other trips of various lengths, even that shouldn't be too difficult. The friend I'm traveling with called me today to go over a few details, and that gave me a sense of anticipation as we get ready to go on our adventure together.