Step 1 – Identify the task you plan to do. For this example, I’ll say I’m going to sort that large, disorganized pile of papers.
Step 2 – Decide when is the appropriate time to do the task. I choose during naptime, so it’ll be quiet and I can focus.
Step 3 – Go about the rest of the morning as usual.
Step 4 – The baby is down for a nap. Time to get to work!
Step 5 – Try to remember what I was about to do. What was I about to do?
Step 6 – Look for to-do list, because maybe I wrote the thing I was planning to do on the to-do list!
Step 7 – Check to-do list I found in this large, disorganized pile of papers. Wait, no. This is yesterday’s to-do list.
Step 8 – Continue digging through pile of papers.
Step 9 – This time check the CORRECT list… Nevermind, that’s from last week.
Step 10 – Wow, what a mess. I really should sort this pile sometime. Maybe I should write that down…
Step 11 – Decide not to write it down, to avoid creating yet another to-do list to get confused with the others.
Step 12 – Decide to send myself a text reminder instead.
Step 13 – Get out phone.
Step 14 – Remember that I wanted to buy portion-control food containers (for that plan to do healthy meal prep, which I’ll totally follow through on).
Step 15 – Look up prices of aforementioned food containers on Amazon.
Step 16 – Why did I get out my phone?
Step 17 – Instinctively touch Facebook app.
Step 18 – Read the pop up that is now on the phone screen: “Facebook is currently blocked.” (Whew. Good thing I have that Block app installed on my phone. Otherwise I’d get distracted!)
Step 19 – Check email.
Step 20 – Decide not to actually read any of the emails because there are thousands of them, and that’s overwhelming, so I’ll deal with that later. Again.
Step 21 – Remember that I was about to do something. What was it?
Step 22 – Walk around looking at everything, hoping something will jog my memory.
Step 23 – Was I going to vacuum? …No, not during naptime. The vacuum is too noisy.
Step 24 – Notice how embarrassingly dusty the furniture is.
Step 25 – Dusting! That must have been the thing I was going to do.
Step 26 – Gather dusting supplies.
Step 27 – Start dusting.
Step 28 – Feel good about myself for finally getting to the thing.
Step 29 – Continue dusting.
Step 30 – Look up and- is that a spider in the corner?!?
Step 31 – No, it’s just a shadow from the texture of the popcorn ceiling.
Step 32 – Why is it called a popcorn ceiling?
Step 33 – Speaking of spiders, did I remember to bug spray? …Yes. Yes, I did. (I think.)
Step 34 – Continue dusting.
Step 35 – Hyperfocus on dusting.
Step 36 – Notice that large pile of papers is in the way.
Step 37 – Gather pile to move it out of the way so I can continue dusting.
Step 38 – …The pile! That’s what I was going to do: organize that pile.
Step 39 – Put down dusting supplies.
Step 40 – Actually, I’d better put the dusting supplies away before I forget, or I won’t be able to find them later.
Step 41 – Put away dusting supplies.
Step 42 – Okay, time to get to work! (For real this time.)
Step 43 – What’s that sound? Oh. It’s the baby. The baby is awake. I guess naptime is over.
Step 44 – New plan: I’ll sort that large, disorganized pile of papers TOMORROW.