In Pursuit of an Organized Life

. . . putting life in order

Hijacked Evening

I had visions of what I would do tonight (fold laundry and tidy the house). I got into creating therapy materials (noun/verb sorting by sound). While I was planning on using it for the next day, what should have taken 5 minutes ended up taking much longer. Part of it was my poor estimating skills as far as how long it would take. The other part was that I was that I was enjoying it and it was still productive.

I still am getting some tidying done, but the pile of laundry will wait until tomorrow. There are some bugs going around so I want to make sure I’m getting my sleep as well. Quick burst and then sleep!

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Gobble! Gobble!

Happy American Thanksgiving! (Canada has theirs in October)

Hope you have a great day! I’m busy packing for a trip to visit family. It always seems like it will just take a few minutes in the morning to get everything ready. 4 hours later there are still plenty of stuff to do. My mom had a document saved on the computer of a running list of things to pack. Then, we could print it off and make sure we had everything. As we got older, we were given our own list to pack our clothes and she would double check we had everything before it went into the suitcase. I am going to have to start doing that (not today though).

We wrapped a few Christmas presents for people we won’t see on Christmas day. It was fun to see each girl “sign their name” on the card. They also decorated the plain wrapping paper with stickers. We had our daughter do that with Valentines for school and it was priceless to see her pick out the stickers and color the Valentines we printed from the computer. So much more personal and WAY cheaper than buying cards.

Off to finnish packing and make lunch for the drive. Enjoy the long weekend and time with family!!

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Chore Master

This is a free app that I found that tracks the chores you do.  They have a list of chores that they entered and the approximate time it takes to complete each one.  You can also add your own chores to it.  It has a timer so that you can see how long it actually takes you.  Based on how many chores you complete you get a level.  Similar to experience points for role-playing or video games.  I am currently at Level 3 “Dabbler”.    The app describes this level as “This isn’t so painful!  You dip in and out of chores, it’s more of a part-time thing for you.  But it’s not so bad.”

What I like:

  • It is a free app that is ACTUALLY free and usable (not just an ad for the full version).
  • List of total number of minutes cleaning, total this week, and total number of minutes for each chore.
  • It says how many minutes are required to Level Up (I have 67 minutes left).
  • Relatively quick to enter in chores.

In general, my tablet probably hasn’t helped me be more productive, but I thought this had potential.  I felt successful entering in the +2 hours of cleaning I did today.   I haven’t used the program to know how many levels there are or if the level changes if you don’t use the program or don’t clean as much from one week to the next.

We shall see!


Saturday’s Goals

Here are today’s goals

  • Tidy counters
  • Vacuum basement
  • Cook dinner (fish and roasted vegetables)
  • Read more of my book

Would love to also

  • Organize something
  • Get outside
  • Exercise
  • Bake something
  • Do something work related
  • Fold Laundry

Caramel update—–It turned out okay.  I think the sugar mixture was overcooked.  Not sure if I’ll try again or look for another recipe to try.

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Adventures in Carpet Cleaning

Well I pulled out the carpet cleaner. I even vacuumed before hand. I’ve used it before, but there is still that sense of “Am I doing this right?” How wet does it need to be? Did I put enough soap in? Do I add bleach? Will this stain come out if I keep at it or not?

Today I used the attachment for the first time so I could clean a few chairs. My husband showed me how to put it on. I kept trying to figure out why it wasn’t working. Well, it was plugged in correctly, but it was out of water. Fill water. Then try to figure out the precise amount of water for getting dirt off and trying to figure out what I need to do so it doesn’t leave a funky pattern. Do I spot clean? Do the whole couch? I’d hate to ruin something in the name of cleaning.

Hopefully it works out. Now off to hopefully a more fun adventure—-caramel corn!

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My goal for this week to eliminating my expectations and to be purposeful. I had originally thought of having productivity as one of the goals, but I’m okay with a little down time.  To me the difference is productivity feels goal oriented and having measurable end results.  Purposeful implies that there is a reason and a choice behind the actions.  Visiting with my husband might not have been productive, but it was purposeful because I value the time with my family.  Purposeful also indicates that it is a choice.   It’s not mindlessly wasting time or waiting until the decision is made by outside factors.  It is deciding that this is what I value and this is what I want to be doing right now.

Eliminating expectations ties in with being realistic with what is best for me NOW.   My life constantly changes and the time when life has settled and is “figured out”  I’m learning will likely never happen.  I still see the value in goals and long range plans, but what that will look like or when it will happen might change.  I think there is a fine line between giving up on goals and dreams and modifying them to fit the current situation.  For this week, it’s trying to step away from the expectation of the “perfect day” and the expectation of what should get done.

As always it’s a work in progress, it is a lot easier to say great ideas than to live them.  Wish me luck!


Evening and Week Goals

I read a blog entry about someone’s successful Sunday Chore list. There is satisfaction in setting goals and meeting them especially when there are people who will cheer you on when you make it or commiserate if you don’t. I took an organization workshop and one of the comments she made was that many people find things that work and stop doing them for whatever reason. I think sometimes it’s easy to try to search for a new way to get healthy or to get organized when it’s probably more effective to just work on doing what I already know consistently.

Evening goals

  • Drink tea
  • Pay garbage bill
  • Print business cards
  • Unload/load dishes
  • Order pictures
  • Complete push up app
  • Fold Laundry

Goals for the week

  • Hang photos (my youngest daughter hasn’t made it to the family wall yet)
  • Clean off dresser
  • Go to the gym 1 2 3
  • Watch stuttering video for work
  • Adjust weekly to do list
  • Bake something
  • Buy presents
  • Organize in my room for 15 minutes   1 2 3
  • Plan for work 1 2

I tried to make my list long enough to give me options, but still achievable to make a dent on them.  Well I’m off to complete item number one on my list—-drink tea.   Green Tea with honey.

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Floating Productivitiy

This weekend I had a kind of floating productivity.  Instead of sticking with one task, I bounced from task to task.  My goal was to keep doing something goal related without a pressure of a rigid “To Do List”.   I didn’t watch any TV during the day, although the computer did suck me in at times.

Below are some of the tasks I completed or at least worked on

  • Folded clothes
  • Put away the kids  clothes
  • Finished Book (Replay)
  • Got clothes that were too big out of my bedroom
  • Prepped tinfoil dinner for side dish for dinner
  • Created order form
  • Loaded dishwasher
  • Hand Wash dishes
  • Guided Meditation
  • Played games and read library books with the girls
  • Basic tidying

I’m fairly pleased with myself.  I was able to fight back a sour mood and change the channel without throwing productivity out of the window.  I liked the feeling of flexibility to choose what to do next.   I missed that feeling of  satisfaction that comes from completing an entire task or getting an entire area of the house sparkling clean.   Step in the right direction–that’s the most important.

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Energy Pie

I’ve been thinking about the Energy Pie that I learned about in grad school. The pie is divided into emotional, physical, cognitive, and reserve sections. The theory is when any one aspect of your life is taking more attention you dip into your reserve section. When you run low on reserves, you start to become tired, irritable, less focused etc.

For me, the cognitive side has been overworked. I’ve been busy at work and so a lot of my energy has gone towards thinking and planning. At home, I’ve felt exhausted and the time evaporates away from me.   I’ve been falling behind in cleaning and the house shows it.  The good news is that the mess is bugging me.   I used to accept the mess and want to get better at cleaning, but not want to put in the effort.  I’m starting to appreciate the value of clean and organized home, even though I’m not quite there yet.

I’m trying to figure out how to get back into a rhythm at home without pushing it too far. I’ve been trying to figure out what activities will help me energize and rejuvenate. Then figure out how to fill in these activities more into my life without adding pressure and become something “I should do”. I know exercise helps me.   I know I like the result of cleaning and organizing.  I want to also start pursuing more “active relaxing”.

While all of those ideas are great, sleep is becoming higher and higher on my list of priorities.  The amount of spelling mistakes that were caught were way higher than it should be.  I’m off to bed to read and sleep.

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Night time Cramming

I’ve been catching myself trying to fit in everything I wanted to get done in the last half hour before going to bed. The kids are in bed. I have the work things that are done for the next day. I’ve relaxed. Then I decide its time to go to bed, but I wanted to get the dishwasher unloaded, clean the main level, exercise, and put away clothes. So I stay up an hour past when I wanted to go to bed cramming that stuff in. Loosing sleep in the process. Ideally, I would have done all those things earlier in the evening instead of watching tv or spending time on the internet. It’s finding that balance of is it more important to get it done or to sleep. There is always “just one more thing” to do. 5 minutes becomes 45 minutes really fast.

I’m trying to put sleep higher on my priority list, but I also want exercise, REALLy playing with my kids, and cleaning also higher on my priority list. If everything is a priority, nothing becomes a priority. So for now I’m trying to inch back my bed time. Try for half hour earlier and go from there. I want the days to be shorter because I get tired, but I want the days to be longer so I can get more done.