Faced with the magnitude of a project on the weekend, I realized that I refer to my favourite strategy, either productivity and organizing, more often than I realize.
There I was staring into the bilge of my baby. She’s not a big yacht. She is just big enough to require lots of work and weekly, monthly, seasonal and annual maintenance. You may have heard the expression “a boat is a hole in the water to throw money into”? Yup, that about sums it up. That picture is the water lines in the bilge beside the galley.
In this case it wasn’t the cost of the project, it was how to do the darn thing. I knew what the end result had to be: tank and lines flushed and filled, inside wiped down with vinegar, dishes and cutlery cleaned, cupboards cleaned out, water filter check, floor washed.
I was struggling with how to get there. What was the sequence? Why didn’t I write it down last year? Where were last year’s notes anyway? Why couldn’t I just go sailing….?
Frustrated and discouraged, wondering if I ought to have stayed home and worked on my year end finances, I went out to the cockpit. My task list notebook was waiting for me, never far from reach. As I stared at the empty page in my notebook, I thought “this is what my clients maybe feel like before we work together”.
The water system needed to be drained of the potable antifreeze from the winterization. The inside of the boat had to be wiped down with vinegar (my anti mold weapon). The cushions needed airing, other things needed washing. I scribbled away.
Break it down. Then break it down again.
This is by far my favourite organizing and productivity strategy. I wrote everything I could think of that needed to be done. Then I did my best to try and sequence the steps. Some were two person jobs. I reassessed what I could do alone, and where I needed someone else to help.
Even just seeing the list made me feel better. The tasks seemed more concrete and less overwhleming. The project seemed doable but maybe over two days instead of one. The extra set of hands would have to wait for the second day.
Throughout the day I checked in regularly with the list. This kept me on task. Yes, I strike out what is complete. This keeps me motivated and energetic. And if you followed my Instagram account, you know I had to take a break at lunch to reassess progress again.
Here’s a peak at the list IMG_3821 after day one.
Everything got done right down to washing the dishes and setting out the sheets not the berth. Fresh water in the tanks. Filter clean. Fresh dish towel on display – ready to sail and entertain.
My favourite organizing and productivity strategy came through again.
What’s your favourite strategy? Do you have one. Feel free to borrow mine. It works.