Is there anything worse than coming home from a rough day at work and realizing that you still have to make dinner and none of your dishes are clean yet? Well, I guess there probably is, but when you’re in that situation, it sure feels like you’ve reached the ninth circle of hell.
So how do you deal with the exhaustion and stress and still manage to take care of everything that needs doing?
This is Bessie, one of our guinea pigs. Isn’t she adorable?
Well, first, I’d say you need to come to grips with the fact that; you probably won’t. People have a tendency to come up with a lot of ideas of what needs to be done. I know I sure do. I almost always end up coming up with a list so long that just looking at it makes me tired.
Even if your list of household tasks is longer than your arm, it’s good to get everything that you’re hoping to do written down. It’s important to see what you want rather than just thinking it. Try splitting up big tasks into smaller ones, so they feel less daunting. For instance, you could separate “Laundry” into “Wash/Dry” and “Fold.” What are the most important things for you? What’s going to bug you more; a pile of unfolded laundry, or a stack of unfiled paperwork?
Once you’ve got the list written down, try to think about how long each task will take you. Really think about it, too. I have a bin hanging on the wall for any papers we get that need to be filed. I usually just pile things on until it seems like the bin might fall down. It stresses me out to have to think about going through all that information and sorting it, but in reality, it only takes about 15 minutes for several months’ worth of paperwork.
Don’t make it harder than it has to be!
Now, look at your list again. Are there tasks that you can get done at the same time? You can use the time while laundry is washing to clean your bathroom, or plan out the meals for the week.
In our house, Wednesday is pizza night. We always use frozen pizzas, because I haven’t been able to find a homemade recipe that comes close tot he flavor of Digiorno. When the pizza is cooking, I know I have 19 minutes to do a little bit of cleaning or planning or whatnot. I could just waste that time by checking my Facebook or Pinterest (and sometimes I do), but it’s a much better use of my time to get through a quick task and check it off the list.
Find the little pockets of time that allow you to keep up with your house, rather than falling behind.
It’s also important to take advantage of the times when you have the urge to do something. For me, that time normally comes at around 9:00 at night. Some people find that urge early in the morning, but I get an extra charge by the moon, so I always end up wanting to do my tasks during inconvenient times.
In the interest of not bugging my neighbors, I do have to funnel my energy into tasks that sometimes I don’t want to do. Here’s the secret, though.
The hardest part of any task is starting.
So, as comfortable as the couch can be after a full day of stressful work, get up and do just 20 minutes of cleaning. It’ll ease your mind, even if only a little, and you might even get the urge to keep going!