Start Out Easy

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I have a confession to make. I love doing laundry. And folding it. There’s something wonderful about a pile of freshly cleaned clothes, smelling like a “sea breeze” or whatever the dryer sheet scent is. I pull the clothes out of the dryer into my basket and then I take it into the bedroom and turn it upside down onto the bed. I match up all the socks and unmentionables and put them in their assigned drawers. I fold each t-shirt and pair of yoga pants the way I like them and put them away. I hang the items I want in my closet. And I gather up the leftover dryer sheets, throw them away and return my basket to the laundry room. Bing bam boom! Task complete!

And that’s why I love laundry so much. Because it’s an easy job–laundry gets clean while I do other things and when it’s finished and I fold it all up, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. For me, those five or ten minutes spent folding clothes and putting them away can set the tone for completing a lot of other tasks in the day. Knowing that my drawers are filled to the brim with clean clothes and that my closet contains any number of outfit combinations at-the-ready makes me feel happy. I know…I sound corny. But when I have a day with a full to-do list and the sheer weight of the tasks seems overwhelming, it helps to start out easy. Choose something on the list that you can get done quickly but that will give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

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That’s why I also love emptying the dishwasher of clean dishes. Or going through the mail and throwing out all the junk. I love watering my plants, or taking ten minutes to dust my wood furniture, or emptying out the wastebaskets throughout the house. Not all at once, of course. But here and there, sprinkling in the easy tasks with the hard ones. The short ones with the long and tedious ones. Instead of thinking of all you have to do and then choosing to lay on the couch and watch “The Good Wife” instead, try starting with an easy task that you can get done quickly. When I know that I need to sit down with my art and work on something for a long stretch, sometimes it helps me to take out the trash first, load up the washer or make a quick phone call I’ve been meaning to get out of the way. It’s not procrastinating if these small tasks also need to get done. Start out easy and then move to the hard. Gain momentum before you begin the long haul.

Give it a try. Start out easy and the rest will follow.

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