Photo by aussiegall
Let me preface this by saying that I love my gig as a mother, but sometimes the repetition of the daily chores that go along with mothering and taking care of a house with 5 kids wears me down a little. I felt quite flat last week with kids starting term two at school and just couldn’t quite seem to get my act together. At the gym on Sunday morning I started thinking about the new week ahead and the household tasks that needed to be completed and how I didn’t want to have another week like the one before it.
As I thought it about it, I realised that I need to change things up a little, freshen the routines, change the order of things, alter my basic mode of operation slightly to help kick start some new motivation. So with this in mind I have chosen 10 things that I am going to do differently this week. Some are only small and will be easy to do and some are going to require significant discipline on my behalf. I plan to do them for a week and will evaluate after that and see whether they become part of my new routine.
1. Go to bed at 10pm
I am terrible at going to be at a reasonable hour. As a consequence I think that I am suffering from a chronic sleep shortage accumulated over the last six to nine months. I need to feel more rested as, the more rest I have the more effective I am am and the better my mood is.
2. 30 minute cleaning tasks
When I only had a couple of children and a smaller house, I would clean the entire house in one go. I loved the feeling of knowing everything was clean and organised at the same time. Three more children later and a bigger house, I have been aiming to have cleaning done over two days, which to be honest is incredibly difficult with a toddler and preschooler under foot.
So inspired by Julie from Works For Me Homemaking I am going to try 2 x 30 minute cleaning tasks every day this week and see if this makes the cleaning of the house more manageable.
I am completely out of the habit of folding the washing as I bring it in. And as a consequence, it has been piling up to unmanageable levels. This week I am going to go back to what I know works and stay on top of the washing.
I really do love my iPhone, but I think it can become distracting! I am not going to check my emails or twitter on the iPhone this week. It inevitably ends up with double handling as I read them but don’t action them (very often at least) and then end up re-reading them when I am on my Mac.
5. Toy Rotation
Our toddler has hit the tipping out stage and I really need to rotate the toys that are out for him to play with for two reasons:
- So there are more age appropriate toys that are meeting his interests.
- There are toys that he doesn’t actually play with but just tips them out 100 times a day and I pick them up 100 times a day!
6. Get outside more.
Other than walking to school in the mornings, I haven’t been playing outside with the kids as much as I would like. I am going to spend some time outside each day, which I think will help break up the day better for us and give me more energy.
7. Garage Sale Box.
There are so many things in our house that really need to leave! Often I will put things back in their place, thinking that it is not really needed or I when getting an item out of a cupboard that I need, I will move an item that I haven’t used in months to have to get to it. Well not this week. I am going to find a large box and start putting these things in it for the garage sale we are going to have soon.
The next three are actually blogging related, but as I blog at home, the two areas are very intertwined and how much time I spend on blogging impacts on the state of the house.
This one was inspired by the column in Sunday Life by Sarah Wilson. You can read her full article here. I have to admit to taking great pride in my ability to multitask. At the start of this article I wrote about how I came up with this idea at the gym – at the gym where I was on the stepper, reading the Sunday Life magazine, listening to my iPod and contemplating how to mix things up in my life!
I could completely relate to this part of her article:
Perhaps the most alarming factoid I read on the matter was from a paper published in Psychology Today last month that compared multitasking to eating empty calories. When we eat a Krispy Kreme it switches on the reward-seeking dopamine circuitry, which creates an addictive crave cycle (due to the lack of nourishing reward from said empty calories). Ditto when we consume empty neural calories like Tweeting and Googling and stimuli toggling. When done together, it creates a dopamine overload, or mental hyperactivity, just like when you down a doughnut. There’s no reward (for instance, a focused sense of closure to each task) so not only do we become flabby of thought, we also become addicted.
Deep down I knew this anyway as for a almost a year now when I have my post writing sessions, I have email and twitter closed, but other than that I often have 8 -9 tabs open in Firefox, Skype, Twitter and email running. This will be my biggest challenge this week to see if I can stick to completing one task at a time.
9. More time on projects
I constantly struggle with dividing my blogging time up into time for posts, social media and projects. Inevitably I spend more on the first two and very little on the project side of things. I am going to change that around this week and make sure I set strict time limits for my post writing sessions and then spend an allocation of time on projects, then social media.
(The inspiration for this came from a guest post on Problogger by David Risley titled Poor Bloggers Focus Too Much On Blog Posts. There is lively debate in the comments of this post to which is worth a read.)
10. Decluttering Email and My Google Reader
Each day I delete emails without reading them and skip over blog posts in my reader without looking at them. I need to stop just ignoring these incoming messages and actually unsubscribe myself from them. In a recent post on his blog Seth Godin talks about this exact thing – “Incoming”
The relevant discussion here: are the incoming messages helping? After all, most of them aren’t initiated by you, they have the power to change your mood or your energy or even how you spend your non-electronic time. And they’re addictive. When, for some random reason, they ebb and you have a really light few hours–admit it, you check more often.
How is your daily routine?