Let’s play a game. I call it race the timer. I look at my (sometimes overwhelming) to-do list and wonder how I’ll get it all done. So now, I use the timer thingy on my phone. Set it for 5 minutes and walk around the house looking at your list. Estimate how much time it will take. Don’t dwell too long, just look and say 5 minutes for this, or 10 for this.
List done? Timer gone off? Great. Now, get a garbage bag and set your
timer for the first room and GO. Race the timer. Did you finish before the timer did? Were you almost done and reset the timer for just 5 more minutes? I know I do. Sometimes I don’t do absolutely everything in my allocated time (even when I set it for another 5 minutes), but that’s ok, I move onto the next section. I only ever allow myself 5 more minutes.
I have found setting the timer forces me to absolutely 100% focus on the task at hand. I also make a note next to each section with reality. How long it actually took me. For example, this morning before I head down to my sewing room,
I needed to:
Unpack & Repack the dishwasher – 5 minutes
Clean the Toy Room – 5 minutes
Decorate the Christmas Tree – 30 minutes
Unpack & Repack the dishwasher, put away toaster from breakfast, Put on load of dishes, wash the teflon pans, put away Miss S’ school bag from yesterday – time: 10 minutes
Clean the Toy Room, put away blocks, pencils, lego, and put all stuffed animals back into Mr L’s room – time: 10 minutes.
Decorating the Christmas Tree, plus putting up extra decorations, sorting and decluttering broken, scratched, ugly baubles, ensure the tree looks good from all angles (because you never know when someone will look behind the Christmas tree Durrr lol), wonder where the other 2 stockings have gone, and do a quick pickup – time: 40 minutes.
Are these areas perfect? Not really. BUT my house now looks so much better then it did when I started and all within an hour. The dishes are clean, the tree is decorated (minus the star because that’s the kids job, and even though the kids started decorating the tree yesterday, they can only reach so high and got bored quite quickly), the toy room is tidy. A quick vacuum and these areas will look so much better.
You may only have 5 minutes. You may only want to spend 5 minutes in the kitchen. But play my game, try it once on one item on your list. You may be surprised by how quickly you get things done, or how you just want to spend “5 more minutes” to complete the task at hand.
Previously, if I had a spare hour, I would have probably spent it all in the kitchen or lounge or bathroom and only one area of the house would be clean. But I still would have had the rest to complete and at the end of the day I would be disappointed I didn’t get the rest done. But now, I’ve made an impact in 3 different areas of the house because I was focused on the task at hand.
How much could you get done if you played my game and set a timer?