January 8, 2013 by Ellen V
One of my many (too many?) New Year’s resolutions was to create and maintain a cleaning schedule that works a bit better for me. I’m someone who relies on calendars and lists to keep me focussed on tasks for each day. I think it comes from being a student-athlete and then a coach-student and then a coach-youth minister. Trying to juggle jam-packed days with little down time taught me to WRITE DOWN deadlines, goals, projects, and tasks that must be done in order to accomplish them. Even though I have at least a little more time on my hands these days, I still look for a task to be ON THE LIST before I am motivated to get it done.
At work, for example, I plan about a week ahead and write down the tasks that must be accomplished by the end of each day. I try to leave at least a little room for the unexpected. If I accomplish all my tasks by noon, I have the flexibility to begin a new project, work ahead, or do some of the things that typically get pushed aside (clean my office, catch up on relavant reading, etc).
Where cleaning is concerned, I tend to be task oriented. If I don’t have a specific task written down (do Jane’s laundry, change the sheets, clean the refridgerator, vaccuum) it usually gets put off or not done at all. I have managed to stay on top of laundry by creating a schedule for myself, since Jane was born, of when laundry should be done and writing it down. It’s been working so well that I want to apply it to the rest of the cleaning in our home.
Last week, I created a cleaning calendar for the month of January. Each day, one of my household tasks is “chores.” The idea would be that I would consult the calendar and do the 2-3 chores that are listed for the day. I created the calendar with my schedule for the month ahead in mind. Tuesdays I almost always work late into the evening, so there are very few tasks to get done on Tuesdays.
It’s only been a few days, but I have high hopes that this will help me contribute more frequently to our household cleaning. And that maybe it will result in a cleaner home.
The other tool I’ve been using is a “ten things” rule. When I have five minutes to kill–before I go to bed, in my office between meetings, when I sit down to watch a TV show with Eric–I need to put away ten things. Just ten. They can be big or small. They can be from thirty minutes ago or have been sitting there for thirty days. Ten things.
Eric will no doubt tease me for this post, as I’m constantly convinced I’m going to do better at this but generally give up pretty quickly. It’s worth another try, though, right? New motivation and new strategies. Here’s hoping!