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Michele Vig, Neat Little Nest Owner + Chief Organizer

Hello! Here I share my passion for creating both beautifully organized + designed spaces. I hope you find some inspiration.


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How to get moving when you're stuck

On a recent poll on instagram, I asked the community their ease in motivating themselves when they need to do something.

The question was how easy is it to motivate yourself to do the tasks you need to do?

8% said it was easy, 30% said it was somewhat easy and 62% said it was somewhat difficult (39%) or difficult (23%).

I wasn't too surprised by the results, but as a naturally born do-er, I fall into the "easy" camp for this question. Where I need to dig deeper into my motivational reserves usually is the last 10% and getting things across the finish line.

Below are some of the ways I've learned (by practice!) to motivate myself when I'm stuck or just don't feel like doing what needs to be done.

doing the worst first

When I have a big task or a bunch of small tasks I need to complete, I find myself naturally drawn to do the things I like to do best first. It's good for momentum, but can also lead to lingering negative mental swirl.

What works better for me is when I actually do the thing that is causing me the most angst first. Doing the worst thing first helps remove the added mental clutter tied to the task. Do-ing the task stops the worrying about the task. Bonus ... nine times out of ten, the task took much less time than I'd estimated. Even better, finishing a difficult task has releases dopamine (the feel good hormone) and can catapult you into the next task.

starting small

If I'm struggling to get started, I commit to working on the task for just a few minutes. I literally set a timer and tell myself we're going to try for just 5 minutes.

Getting started is often the hardest part because our minds are so practiced in telling us that we can't. For me, starting small allows me to make a little progress, which creates forward momentum and it becomes easier to keep going.

breaking it down

Large or complex projects can be overwhelming when you start to think about all the work that needs to be done. Thinking of all of the steps at once can create some anxiety in your mind and could lead to avoidance or procrastination.

When I have a really large project, I like to break the task down into smaller, more manageable steps. And if I'm stuck in the middle of a hard task and find my mind starting to swirl, I say (usually out loud) "Ok Michele, let's just do what we know we can do right now." Then, by the time that task is done the next step usually becomes clearer.

Tackling one small step at a time makes the overall task feel less daunting.

finding a accountability (and celebration) buddy

When I need to get a large amount of tasks across the finish line on a certain day, I often reach out to a friend and I ask if they'll be my accountability buddy. I chose my friends based on my knowledge of the type of support I need ... If I need tough love, I reach out to one type of friend. If I need more tender care, I'll reach out to another. If I need someone who is great at celebrating, I reach out to another.

The point is ... I find someone who fits the motivation moment.

Often, just knowing someone else is on the other end of the tasks to hold me accountable and celebrate with me is just the right motivation to get going!

write it down + estimate

If there are a lot of tasks on my plate and I find my mind swirling, I know I need to stop and write them down to get them out of my head. Writing them down allows my brain to slow down and take in each one. I keep writing until they are all done.

Once they're all written down, I go through the list and put a small number by each task for how long I think it will take to do. Doing this helps me to start to put them in an order of getting them done based on the time I have available.

There is not one-size-fits all answer to what can motivate you to get tasks done that you need to. It truly does take practice of different tools to see which one works the best. So often, though, the block is a mental one.

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