I glared at the organic pile of refuse in the back corner of my yard, clutching a garbage bag in one hand and donning a gardening glove in the other.
For a month, the job of cleaning up the mass of plant material left by the previous occupants had weighed on me. I shivered to think about the creepy crawlies that lurked below the rotting leaves, weeds, and twigs.
Every time I’d thought about tackling the task, there were plenty of other household things to do that were much less, well, gross. And so, I had put it off.
But I knew it had to be done given it was likely a contributing factor to the bugs in the yard.
I finally mustered a bit of resolve.
“I’ll just grab one or two handfuls and put them in the bag. That’s all. It’s a start. I can always do more later.”
Fifteen minutes later — it’s always easier than I’ve built it up to be in my mind — the job was done. One handful turned into two, then three…then all of the handfuls.
Once in motion, it was easy for me to stay in motion. (Thanks Isaac Newton!)
How often do we procrastinate cleaning up the creepy crawlies in our business?
Whether it’s writing a book, having a difficult conversation, selling our services, or some other weighty activity, these tasks take up energy even when we are not conscious of it.
What if you could tap into physics to get these things done?
What if you resolved to take two minutes and take care of “one handful” in your business?
Write one paragraph of your book.
Write the first sentence of a difficult email.
Identify just one person to follow up with to further a sale.
One handful will almost always lead to more.
Now, when I head to the backyard to enjoy the hammock, I look at the clean, bare corner of the yard and feel relief, even pride, rather than the weight of an unfinished task.
Maybe the first step is to just grab a sheet of paper and spend two minutes making a list of the piles of refuse that are lying around inside your brain, sapping you of energy.
Then identify “one handful” and resolve to do it today.