Thursday, April 15, 2010

Your comments to my last post made me smile yesterday (thanks!). But especially Saija's because she asked if I have 55 hours, or so, in my days, instead of the usual 24. Ha! And that gave me the idea for my next post (thanks, Saija!).

Here's an idea which helps me get more done. Namely, years ago I read that if you time your household tasks (yard ones, too), you'll probably be shocked that they don't take nearly as long as you imagine.

Well, I did that and wow! Washing the dishes didn't take the 30 minutes or longer which I'd had set in my mind. It took half as long. Making the beds required, really, only seconds, not minutes. Changing the kitty litter boxes took, perhaps 5 minutes, when, according to my head, it took forever.

And what I discovered actually sucked up the most time? Thinking about all my chores. Procrastinating all that work, waiting days longer until the job now required additional elbow grease. And dreading my tasks zapped time and energy (uh-oh! Who wants to become tired before they even begin?).

No wonder I used to accomplish so little. My best mental energy went to avoidance techniques. It would have served me better to recall the immortal words of Nike: Just Do It.

But ever since I timed a few simple (and not-so-simple) chores it's as though I was, hmm, set free maybe? It's as though I'm free from believing that housekeeping, when done the way I like, requires endless, dull hours. Actually, it doesn't take long at all.

Something else? I enjoy making housecleaning and yard work fun. I love to read a favorite book, finish a chapter, then jump up and do a couple chores before returning for more. Or I do 'commercial time cleaning,' which means I hop up off the couch during the tv commercials of my favorite shows and accomplish as much as I can in three minutes. Or I'll watch a half-hour show on dvd, then do some cleaning, then return for another episode.

I'll tell ya..... I am very much into this enjoying everything I do thing--making an art of it,even. And why not? Why not go through Life loving all the daily, seemingly mundane stuff? Why not discover ways to make all work a joy, seamlessly combining work and fun, thus making mundane-ness obsolete?


A new book arrived in my mailbox yesterday. Oh wow. Still Life With Chickens was a perfect purchase, indeed. I positively raced through my chores in between chapters. :)

Oh! And through this book I learned about Mike The Headless Chicken. Go here to read about him. :).


Think reward, not punishment, when doing housework.


Lisa in Texas = ) said...

What an inspirational post. Loved your idea of rewarding your self.
Lisa :o)

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

How true this is....It's kind of along the lines of the fly lady;s ideas that you can get a lot done in small bit of time. I use the commercial break time to get the kitchen done! And some big jobs can just be slowly accomplished in ten or 15 minutes a day....It's good to have this reminder of the fact.

Donetta said...

Oh girl this is so TRUE!
a simple lesson we must pass on and on reminding one anther of it.
Great great reminder
Delight thyself in the Lord and he will your paths.
Telling us and helping us along the foot falls of each day.

Echoes From the Hill said...

I read, "Still Life With Chickens" a couple weeks ago. I am really on a "kick" reading about small farms and farm-like living. Yesterday, I ordered "A Very Small Farm" on It had many positive reviews.