Sunday, January 9, 2011

Never getting around to it? (Part I)

Here you go!


(My thanks to Laura Staley for the use of this image.)

I feel like I struggle a lot just trying to make things happen. Sometimes I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels and never getting anywhere. I get frustrated when I am continually sidetracked. Do you feel this way too?

I do not feel like an expert in this department, but I will share some of what I have learned in finally getting "a round tuit" and making things happen. Big task or small, it works for them all - give it a try!
  • Make more than one list/Prioritize
  • Understand the task
  • Gather the materials
  • Set aside a block of time
  • Get past fears - JUST DO IT!
  • Finish the task!
Make more than one list/Prioritize:
I used to just keep a to-do list. Then I had children. :) Everyone has to find a system that works for them, but what helps me the most is to keep several lists. I keep my lists in a single subject spiral notebook that I call my Housekeeping Notebook. You could also call it my brain as I am unable to function without it. I keep a to-do list for each week and a separate long term to-do list. I plan on trying to accomplish one, maybe two, tasks each day in addition to my regular load, and this helps me stay productive and focused, while preventing me from becoming overwhelmed. Not all tasks are created equal. Some things truly can wait, but I don't want to forget about them. Writing them down on the long term to-do list helps me remember what needs doing, while freeing up my mind to focus upon other more important tasks.

Understand the task:
Read the directions, do the research, have an understanding of the time, materials, effort, space, etc... that each task will require. Knowing ahead of time what each task will require will help you budget your time, money, energy, and all of your other precious resources. It will also save you much frustration later.

Gather the materials:
This is the biggie for me... Having the materials on hand, in a convenient location, ready to go will make it so much easier to finally getting a round tuit! This is a big deal with minor household chores - if the cleaning materials are right at your fingertips, the job will be almost effortless. If the vacuum is in the basement in the back of a closet and every time the door opens, you have to rearrange the contents that fell out, how often are you going to vacuum your floors?! But if it is nice and handy and you can just roll it out on the main floor, isn't the task so much easier? Having a space in your home that is dedicated to your projects is also helpful, such as a sewing table where your machine is always handy, or a desk where you can leave out an unfinished repair job. Space is precious, especially in small homes like ours, but dedicating this space will really increase your ability to make things happen.

Look for the rest of my tips in the coming days:
  • Set aside a block of time
  • Get past fears - JUST DO IT!
  • Finish the task!

So, my readers... how do you get a round tuit? Please share!


  1. I think your point about having a long-term list while parenting small children is very insightful. So many times when mine were small I would add and "extra" thing to my daily list and this or that would prevent me from accomplishing it so I would add it to the next day's list and maybe I didn't get it done then either and pretty soon my list was a discouragement instead of a motivator. A long-term list solves that -- if I add a job to today's list and it doesn't happen and I don't see how it will happen for the next ____ days/weeks, no matter; it is safely on the long-term list and I can return to it later.

  2. I found that if I made lists and kept them in a notebook - I'd just forget about them. I need something right in front of my face. I printed a monthly calendar off of the internet and typed in tasks for each day. As I did the chore, I would highlight it (which was always really fun for me!) If I didn't get something done the day I planned to, I knew I could just do it as soon as I got the chance and go back and highlight it as soon as it was finished. As Lori said, this kept me from getting discouraged about not finishing a task at a particular time. I also found that things would come up that I hadn't anticipated and I would hand-write those things in. I found this was a great way to see how I was spending my days. I dislike "journaling" so this was a neat way to go back and see what was going on during a particular month... as I kept track of gospel meetings, who we had for dinner, etc. I got out of this habit since I had Peter. But now that we're able to have something that remotely resembles a schedule again, I'd like to get back into it. I did this for about two years! And any system that lasts me more than a week is a good one in my book!


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