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I’m a person that gets easily overwhelmed. As a serial To-Do List writer, I take on more tasks than any human could possibly hope to accomplish.

Soon, I don’t have any clean clothes left, the dishes are piled high, I haven’t started writing the thing that’s due tomorrow, cat hair is rolling through the room like tumbleweed and I’m eating takeout while I re-watch Battlestar Galactica because I turn into the Queen of Work Avoidance when I feel like I’m in over my head.

It’s a serious problem.

When you can’t seem to get anything done, focus on accomplishing just one thing. It doesn’t matter how small or unrelated to your “Big Deal” to-do items it seems. Get just one thing done – today, like right now. Sometimes that’s just the injection of motivation you need to tackle something bigger.

When you can’t seem to get anything done, focus on accomplishing just ONE thing.
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When you need to get your act together, try knocking off some of these easy tasks:

  1. Grab a laundry basket. Sweep everything that doesn’t belong in the room into the basket and return it to where it belongs.
  2. Open up your closet. Sort everything into groups: tanks, short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, jackets, pants, skirts. Put all empty hangers in one place.
  3. Do a cursory cleaning of your refrigerator. Throw out anything funky, combine duplicate items and put things on appropriate shelves.
  4. Clean out your social networking or email contacts. If you’re keeping people around that you don’t actually know or like, give ‘em the boot.
  5. Gather up all the receipts and papers you’ve been meaning to shred and do it.
  6. Renew those things that need to be renewed, like your driver’s license or registration. Come on. You can do it on the internet.
  7. Collect all of the things that need to be returned to the store or taken to Goodwill and put them in your car. In the front seat.
  8. Go through your email inbox and respond to or sort everything in there that you’ve been putting off. I am the worst at this. Gmail labels and filters are great. Learn to use them.
  9. Walk through the house and pick up any laundry, dishes or trash and deposit those things in the appropriate places.
  10. Go through your medicine cabinet, vanity or pantry and pitch anything that is dried up, expired, the wrong color, ugly, gross or any other adjective that renders it undesirable.

And if your To-Do List is so out of control that you can’t even look at it? Here’s what you can do about that.

Do you have any “quick fix” things you do when you can’t get motivated to do anything else?