Are you staring down a room full of clutter? Do you have an inbox that’s overflowing? Do you have more tasks to do than you feel you can ever get done? Then you need to focus on something: just one box.
The Joy of Moving
I’ve moved several times in my life, and it has always been a pain. But there was one time I came across a secret that made it so much smoother. Oddly enough it would be one of the secrets that I never thought about applying to other areas of my life until I read a book about it many years later.
But the secret itself was really simple: Just one box.
Instead of planning to do a lot of work every day, feeling overwhelmed and pushing it off to the next day over and over, I did something different. I decided early to just pack a box a day: just one box. Sometimes as I packed a box it became easy to pack a second. Sometimes it was just the one box.
But after a week I had about 10 boxes packed. The momentum made the second week even better. By the time I was ready to move, the packing was almost done.
And unpacking was just as easy. There were certain things that had to be unpacked right away for sure, but for the rest of the boxes, instead of having them sit there forever, had a plan: just one box a day.
A Life of Boxes
Life is like moving: there are always tons of tasks to pack and unpack. There are projects to work on and reports to do and forms to fill out.
There will always be one box left to work on. But if we don’t focus on all the tasks, and just focus on just one box at a time, we can get through it.
Just One Box
If you want to make the most of your time and be productive, focus on just one box. It’s the principle behind Mini habits and One Simple Step Can Change Your Life, books I discovered long after my moving triumph.
Both are fantastic books that show you how to break down projects into easily manageable tasks while avoiding the psychological pitfalls that lead to avoidance and procrastination.
It’s really easy to get things done when you focus on just one thing at a time. Don’t look at all the checkboxes on your to do list and become overwhelmed. Instead, make your to do list full of simple tasks and then focus on just one box.