Get Just One Thing Done.

Close up of an arm and hand holding a yellow sponge on the boot of a black car.  The person is washing the car.Living with a chronic illness can mean your days are spent managing symptoms and focusing on the tasks of daily living.  You manage to prepare simple meals and perhaps shower.  It can be really hard to focus in on getting small non urgent tasks done around the house.

I developed the mini goal setting idea ‘Get Just One Thing Done’ where you focus on completing tasks that will make a difference to you.  The task may literally take one minute or they can be bigger but pick ones that are achievable so you can regularly ‘Get Just One Thing Done’.

To get started build a list of tasks that will give you a good feeling to have completed.  The tasks I focus on for this method are often chore or housework themed and that I know will give me a boost to have them done.  I do also include steps of things I am working on that would probably get done sometime, such as checking the library catalogue for books on a particular topic, or completing a section of a craft project.  Sometimes they are things that help make my home environment feel nicer to be in, little changes to a space can be refreshing.  It is more relaxing when you aren’t constantly seeing things that need putting away or small cleaning tasks.

These tasks might be things you notice or think about nearly every day but that you don’t get done as they aren’t urgent or one of your routine tasks.  Breaking down bigger tasks into small steps is really helpful for this method and can help you complete things that felt like they needed a big chunk of time or energy all at once.

Try and write down tasks when you notice them, then you can remember  them when you are ready to ‘Get Just One Thing Done’.  You might see something every time you flop on the couch but that isn’t the best time to try and get it done so write a note- on your phone or a notepad.

Some ideas are-  De-cluttering the entrance area by your front door, cleaning out the car, starting reading that book you know you will enjoy, packing away clothes that are out of season, writing an email to a friend, or choosing some easy recipes to try.  There might be several small cleaning tasks that wouldn’t take much energy that you’d love to get done- getting rid of a dirty mark on a door, dusting the TV screen, cleaning your computer keyboard, storing away some items cluttering a space, moving that thing you keep tripping over or walking around.  Remember to add things to your list regularly!!!  Another benefit of having things on a list is that there might be someone who asks what they can do to help when they visit.  You could get them to do certain small tasks.

You don’t have to do one everyday but instead you could write down some possible timeslots when you might have the opportunity to fit one of these tasks in.  Times could be before you make lunch,  when you get up from a rest, or in an ad break.  There might be some days where you quickly complete several tasks on your list.  You could keep a list of the completed tasks if you think you would enjoy reading back over it.

What are some tasks you will try and get done with this method? It would be great to have a discussion in the comments.  I am sure a lot of people with chronic illness will relate to having the same sort of things that are hard to get done.

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