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Important, Not Urgent

17 May

Have you ever felt like you were really busy but weren’t getting done what you wanted?

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I have had several things on my list that I wanted to complete lately, but kept finding myself exhausted at the end of the day sitting on the couch.

Here’s what was on my list:
1. Weed whack the garden.
2. Plant seeds in the garden.
3. Set up the patio furniture.

You know what’s funny? It only took me 30 minutes to do each of these things when I got around to it!! And it left me thinking “why did I put this off so long”?

It’s interesting how things important to us get put off.

I am setting a goal to do what’s important to me before I do what seems urgent. This is a concept of Stephen Covey’s book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”.

Hopefully, it will leave me feeling more satisfied and fulfilled with my days.

Wana try it with me?

What have you been putting off that means a lot to you and your future?

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Streamlining Productivity in Our Lives and Homes

12 Oct

My husband has a name for when I leave something half done.

 A Step 2

What is a Step 2?

It is pretty self-explanatory, but a Step 2 is when instead of following something to completion you do it partway, and then leave the rest for later.

For example:  Sometimes after eating, rather than put the dirty dishes right in the dishwasher, leaving the sink available for use, I stick them in the sink.  My husband finds this annoying, and now by proxy so do I.

Is your sink overflowing with dirty dishes?

Here is another great one: I do laundry, fold it, and even bring it to the bedroom, but it sits there for 2 days before I put it away.  It takes all of 5 minutes to put clothes away!  I am proud to say that this Step 2 is pretty much eliminated now.

Why do we do Step 2’s?

Has your laundry basket become your new dresser?

Personally, sometimes I am just feeling lazy, or I hope someone else will do it for me.  Maybe I get distracted by something else that comes to mind and start that before I finish my first task.  Whatever the reason, it makes my life harder in the end, and is a sign that I am not being as effective in my life and home as I could be.

A Step 2 doesn’t only affect us though.  It potentially affects our partner, kids, and maybe even co-workers depending on the situation, leaving them out in the cold because we didn’t follow through.

How do we eliminate Step 2’s?

Awareness is probably the biggest factor.  When I am thinking about leaving something for later, I say to myself, “Is there any good reason I can’t just finish this now?”  If I am out of time, then fine, but usually I have the time to finish something and don’t want to.

Another idea is to make a rule that we don’t move on to a new project until the first is completed.  This may be difficult in a work situation sometimes, but will really help productivity if we focus on one thing at a time.

My husband and I have a cue as well, when one of us is leaving something undone we just say “Step 2”.  This usually draws a chuckle and we finish what we had planned on leaving undone.

Today as you go about your business, notice if you leave things half done.  If so, become aware and try to eliminate some of your Step 2’s.

Bitterness: The Beginning of the End of Your Marriage

6 Oct

When I think of what an unraveling relationship looks like, a picture like this comes to mind:

I imagine lots of fights and anger, probably about money, kids, in laws etc.

Now picture this:

You take the trash out for your husband after you asked him to do it.  You think, “I wish he could do this one small thing for me!”.  You are surprised by your reaction, but have lately been getting tired of taking care of things around the house.  Over the next few weeks you start noticing little things that your partner isn’t taking care of.  One negative thought piles on the next and soon everyday you feel resentment toward your partner.

That is a picture of bitterness.  And it is a quiet seed that grows in the hearts of many of us unless we make the choice to pull it out.

The end of a relationship is not sudden.  It usually starts several years before with little thoughts and attitudes that are left unchecked.  Practice makes perfect, and if we practice feeling sour that is what we will become.

The challenge is this: the next time you feel negative about something your spouse did/didn’t do or said/didn’t say stop yourself.  Think about all the good things in life and don’t let small things take your happiness and joy.  Laugh at the idea that you would let something small come in between you and your love for your partner.

Don’t let bitterness steal your life.

3 Ways To Have Your Spouse Do What You Want

3 Oct

Have you ever been frustrated about a task you asked your husband to do?

Did it not get done?

Did it get done, but not in  the time line you wanted?

Did it get done,  but not to your standards?

Here are three things you can do to help the situation:

  1. Stop Nagging.
  2. Stop Nagging.
  3. Stop Nagging.

It’s pretty simple, but harder in practice.  We hear women nag their spouses in public, tell our girlfriends our troubles, watch women on TV do it, and read complaints on the internet.  Going against the grain is hard work, but here are some tips I found have helped in my own marriage.

Guidelines on Making a Request:

  • Make an initial request, then leave them alone.  Unless you really think they forgot what we asked them to do, don’t mention it again.  This is sometimes difficult when we want something done on a time frame, but if we want help and genuine willingness the timing should be their own.  Often, time lines are ones we set ourselves and upon second look aren’t truly essential.
  • Let your spouse know the importance to you personally of what you ask.  If they can get “the why” they may be more willing because it has meaning apart from the task itself.
  • Don’t ask them to do something unless you really don’t have the time/resources/ability to do it yourself.  We don’t want to make our spouses feel taken advantaged of, and if they see us sitting around while they are working on tasks they may start to feel that way.   Try doing it yourself. When you get to the point where you can’t do it, they will appreciate your initiative, and will likely want to step in and save the day.
  • If there is a specific way you want something done lay that out initially.  Take into consideration whether these are your standards, or if something truly will go wrong if it isn’t done this way.  The worst thing we can do when our spouse is helping us out is complain about how they are doing it.  Even worse is going back and correcting it.  If you really are that specific, do it yourself.

In all our interactions, we want our spouse to know that we value them and their time.  Being smart in our requests is one way to accomplish that.

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