Where do I start?

NB: I am taking some creative license in the first sentence, it is not as catastrophic as I make is sound :)

The plan is to clean the house, and with two kids of 6 and 3, I just looked around, felt powerless and “Where do I start?”.

Instinctively, I (wrongly) want to batch tasks, like putting all the stuff in the dish-washer, taking a plate from here, forks from there etcetera. But this removes only a very small part of the mess and after lots of efforts, progress seems inexistant.

The best method I found is coming from Getting Things Done (GTD) (again). It is an obvious method, when you think of it, and it works and gets me started correctly. You just start somewhere and get it fully DONE.

For cleaning I might start with the kitchen worktop and go from left to right. Taking ONE misplaced thing and putting it in the right place. This usually involves lots of walks to the kids’ bedroom, it is incredible how many legos you can hide in a kitchen. But after some time (10 minutes) I can see the part of the kitchen that is clean, this makes me feel good and full of energy for the next 10 minutes.

I try to do this for things like emails, starting at the top and going down, one-by-one, never leaving an email in the inbox. The email is either converted into an action in my action list, archived with the right tags or forwarded (delegated) to others.

Let me know how it works for you.

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