Thursday, October 30, 2008

I did my to-do list

I did everything on my to-do list today!  Yay!  Pat me on the back.  Ok, since you can't reach, I will do it for you. :) 

I feel like I never, ever get enough things done in a day.  There is always something else to clean, something in the fridge that needs to be cooked, oil needs changed, laundry needs done, bills need payed, animals need fed, laundry needs done again, I need showered, and the list goes on and on and on.... as I'm sure it does for you, as well.

Here is my solution!  Acutally, Daniels solution.... he suggested it: Make your to-do list shorter.  Amazingly, it works!  Instead of writing on my daily to-do list (which I write every morning while pumping) enough things for a week and expecting to get it done in one day, I write enough for one actual day.  Or maybe even a little less than enough for one day.  Then I'm sure to get it all done, which makes me feel better, which keeps me motivated to do it all again the next day.  You see, I LOVE crossing things off my to-do list.  If I cross off less than half, I feel like a failure.  A short to-do list cures this problem.  Here was my list today.  

pump (8 times)
mail bills 
clean for 1 hour
visit Ezekiel
take care of animals (there's a lot!)
make dinner

I did it all!  Ok, I still have to pump more before bed.  But my to-do list got done.  Here is what my to-do list would normally look like, before Daniels sage advice...

pump (8 times)
visit Ezekiel
clean out car
get oil change
schedule ob appointment
pay bills 
take care of animals
change air filters in the house
put air in car tires
clean garage
organize upstairs closet
5 loads of laundry
file giant stack of misc. papers
dust light fixtures
bake bread for the week
grocery store
change burnt-out lightbulbs

You see how I can become overly-ambitious?  And then, in my overly-ambitousness, I get next to nothing done.  I don't understand how I can have such a strong desire for cleanliness and organization and have my whole house/life be so unorganized.  I guess I'm just not disciplined enough.  But I'm getting better.  My new plan is to clean one hour a day (on top of daily things like dishes, bed-making (ha!),  and the occasional load of laundry) and then.... stop.  No more cleaning for that day.  This is what usually happens:  Our house becomes a giant disaster over a few weeks.  I hardly clean at all, hardly pick up anything that lands in random places.  Then I just can't take it anymore, and spend literally an ENTIRE day cleaning.  Then I am so sick of cleaning that i don't clean for another few weeks.  Then it all starts all over.  I hate this cycle.  I want to live in a clean house ALL the time.  I don't like clutter.  I don't like worrying about tripping over things on my midnight treck to the bathroom.  

Anyway, my new plan is working well so far.  My dear friend Aimee is keeping me accountable to my daily hour committment.  So far it's been 3 days, and so far I have kept up, and there is an improvement in the state of our house.  My only problem is that once I get going, I don't like to stop.... so when my hour timer goes off (yes, I need a timer) I normally keep cleaning for another half hour, at least.  Today I must have cleaned for 3 hours.  And that's where the problem comes in-- I don't want to clean that much everyday because it's demoralizing.  I also tend to get caught up in little things... you know, loose sight of the forest for the trees..... so while you can't walk up the steps without tripping on some piece of clothing, roll of toilet paper, or random shoe that is trying to make its' way upstairs, and our bedroom is strewn with clothing and books,  I was cleaning the vaccume cleaner, scrubbing baseboards, vaccuming spider webs from the ceiling, scrubbing the front door, and taking down the curtains to give them a wash.  Hello Kristin!  Pick up all the crap on the floor before you wash the curtains.  It's common sense.  Sigh.    But regardless, it all needs done, and as long as something is cleaned daily, I'm doing better.  And better is all I'm going for right now.  

In other news, I want to make this for Ezekiel.  I'm really excited about it.  I ordered the rings so now all I need is some nice fabric.  Ooooh yay....  I can just see myself happily buzzing away on the sewing machine with a nice hot cup of coffee and christmas music playing in the background (yes, it's time for christmas music!).  Snuggly slippers and pajamas on.  House perfectly clean.  Me feeling perfectly domestic.  Ahhh... what a lovely picture.  My overly-ambitious self wants to make many slings for all the babies I know who are making their way into the world right now.  But my reasonable self tells me to just make one first and see how it goes.  I'm trying to start listening to my reasonable self.  

Oh and by the way.... be sure to participate in my poll in the top right corner.  Who voted for the chevy prism?  Daniel, was that you?  


saylor days said...

i'm the same way i will be cleaning like..the back of my nightstand or something for way too long while my living room floor is covered in toys/clothes/paper whatever.priorities in cleaning! i think that was a problem when i was cleaning in someone else's house i was like..oh my gosh. i'm going to be cleaning for 90 hours straight at this rate.

Nathan and Aimee said...

I know just how you feel about being organized and clean but never getting there. The compulsion to clean the baseboards, though, does not come naturally to me. I am so glad your list is manageable now! There's nothing like crossing something off the list! I will even add something to the list if I did it but didn't write it down first. And I LOVE the sling! I want to make one, but I will probably wait until the next baby. (whenever that happens). Aimee

Kristin said...

Aimee-- I write stuff i already did on my list too, just for the crossing-off joy!

Shell- I remember you telling me about dusting the doors at a house you were cleaning. :)

Anonymous said...

You AMAZE me!
When our daughter was in the NICU, this is all I got done every day:

Visit NICU

Anything else completed was only because I could do it while hands-free pumping. :)

You are doing a LOT!!!!

Goldie's SIL

saylor days said...

oh yes also i will pay you to make me that sling. well first let me know how much you like it and then whenever i get pregnant again. then i will pay you. if you want. :)

J. Pike said...

Hey! You sound just like me! I have a huge list and wanted to get it all done the week I was off. Nada. Nothing. I was a bum. I slept in, ate frequently, played scrabble on my phone, watched tv and cuddled with Josh. It was great! But, I still have nothing done. Mark and Caitlin have decided to keep their little girl officially! They are naming her London Avery! So, they will probably get married at the court house in November before she's born and then move into her parents' basement. How exciting! I'm so happy about this! Keep up the good work on your lists! You are my inspiration. =) Happy Halloween!!! Josh is painting my belly tonight!

Kristin said...

Goldie's sil- A lot of days, that's all I get done!

Shell-- How could I possibly charge you for a sling? Hello! BFF! BFF's don't charge each other for things! I feel like I'm in middle school again, what with the BFF and all.

Jamie-- You are supposed to be resting right now-- you're pregnant! It sounds like you're doing a great job. :)

I'm sooo excited they're keeping London! What a precious little baby she will be. I know they will be glad they made that decision :) :) :)

Luanne in Ohio said...

Kristin -

I love your list dilemma and how you solved it. Lu Parry looked at one of my "to do" lists once and said, "It's so long, it's doomed to fail!" I decided to cut my lists in half, and then when you kids were born, I cut the half-list in half. That worked well....a manageable amount per day, and the joy of being able to get everything done and cross it off. How is the purple onion smell doing?