Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

PeterPan

s/o from Discouraged, now organizing to have time for the components of your life

Recommended Posts

 

My mil just passed away in October at age 78. She grew up on a farm and then was a farm wife and raised five kids. She gardened, raised chickens, helped during harvest, etc., cooked, cleaned, was active in her church and community. I don't recall her ever having a planner. She had an address book and a calendar. That was it AFAIK.

 

 

My MIL writes everything down. She leaves notes All over her kitchen and maintains a wall calendar. My Grandmother helped her husband run a farm and raised 4 children and worked full time at a car dealership, was co- scouts, was involved at her church- she maintained an address book, a wall calendar, she had a journal, and her MIL and grandmother lived on the farm and helped too. When she was older she talked about feeling like her hair was on fire for many years.

 

I don't think women of the past were that different. They just didn't have electronics. Perhaps they didn't run around as much, or at least perhaps country women didn't leave the farm as much. My own mother did a million and one things too- she kept multiple calendars had a master address book and was always trying to keep all her balls in the air. Her "junk" drawer in the kitchen was a sight to behold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just jumping in here. I have only skimmed this thread, but I just started reading The Happiness Project (suggested by someone on this board) and I love the idea of the 1 Minute Rule, that is, if something takes one minute or less to do, you should just do it! I've been brainstorming all the things we don't do around here that take a minute or less: hang up towel, hang up coat, throw a wrapper away, put a container in recycling, bring down a plate or cup from your room when headed down to the kitchen anyway, turn off lights when you leave a room, put dirty clothes in hamper, pull covers up over your bed (maybe not as neat as making it, but better than alternative!). So that's my goal right now: to instill the concept of the one minute rule into everybody's heads (including mine!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those of you decluttering as part of this getting organized project, what do you do if your spouse is a packrat and you're trying to declutter? I desperately need to declutter around here but my husband freaks every time i try. He thinks I'm too minimalist :p

 

Also, I'm halfway through GTD and loving it but still a bit unclear on this big brain dump concept. Anyone want to walk me through it as if I'm 5? So I get a notebook and start writing down everything that I need to do/remember whether it's home related, school related, parenting, marriage, or project-related. At the end I'll have a notebook full of random stuff, right? Then what do I do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those of you decluttering as part of this getting organized project, what do you do if your spouse is a packrat and you're trying to declutter? I desperately need to declutter around here but my husband freaks every time i try. He thinks I'm too minimalist :p

 

 

Could you start with your own belongings? Or it it joint belongings that need to go?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My question with the brain dump/list is how to organize it once you have it all written down? If my list is, say, 10 pages long with random stuff everywhere (yardwork mixed in with kids activities mixed in with meal plans, etc) how does that help me get more organized? I haven't read the books yet and am only halfway through Mystie's blog series, is this explained somewhere? I get how having everything written down will help, but even with a hipster PDA isn't it all just jumbled together?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Join up with us on the 52 books/year thread that Robin starts each week. You'll get lots of inspiration and good book talk over there. Not everyone is doing the 52/yr challenge.

 

 

This actually helped me! I was going through a long period about 3 years ago where I never seemed to finish any book. Then I started doing 52 Books and I have really been so successful at reading and finishing books. I get better every year. In fact just yesterday I was trying to make a list of the habits I really feel good about. I could come up with three. I brush my teeth about 4 times a day, I always make my bed in the morning and I do 52 Books! But if I can get into good habits there I can get into other good habits, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My question with the brain dump/list is how to organize it once you have it all written down? If my list is, say, 10 pages long with random stuff everywhere (yardwork mixed in with kids activities mixed in with meal plans, etc) how does that help me get more organized? I haven't read the books yet and am only halfway through Mystie's blog series, is this explained somewhere? I get how having everything written down will help, but even with a hipster PDA isn't it all just jumbled together?

 

 

Keep reading and it will clear up!

 

Basically (the way I am doing it which might not be exactly right), you will go through your list and pick out what you will do and what you are going to let go of. Anything that can be done in under 2 minutes, just do it right now. Then, decide what are projects (a project is anything with more then one step). I am putting each project on it's own card with a list of "next actions" (the steps to get things done). Then I go though my project cards, pick the next actions I want to accomplish and put them in the correct context.

 

How this helps in real life--

For the past YEAR, my to-do list has said "order kid's birth certificates". EVERY WEEK, I copy that little to-do onto my list and it never gets done. But I'm realizing now that that is because it is a "project" and not a "task". So, on my "@home office" card, I write "copy birth certificate request form" and on my "@errands" card, I write "get $80 money order". Now, when I'm in my office, I can look at my card and realize I need to copy those forms. See how this helps get things done?

 

You'll also come up with stuff you want to do but not right now. That is where the tickler file or the monthly notebooks or the "great ideas" list come in.

 

Just keep reading and it will all clear up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

How this helps in real life--

For the past YEAR, my to-do list has said "order kid's birth certificates". EVERY WEEK, I copy that little to-do onto my list and it never gets done.

 

I struggle with this as well. It makes such a difference to break it down into small steps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes it takes trying a few approaches to find one that works best. I read GTD about a year and a half ago and I've kept up with it pretty well, but there are some tweaks I plan to make over the next week or so. So for those of you getting started, don't give up if the first approach doesn't work as well as you had hoped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been following this topic with a lot of interest. Organization has always been my downfall. All you ladies are so far ahead of me even though I know this isn't a race. My goal is to truly get organized and establish routines for my sake and for my kids and husband. I checked out fly lady on the recommendation of one of the posters on this thread. I can see this wil be very helpful to me. I need to start at the very beginning and work my way forward. I will try to add one thing to my routine each day. So-

12/24 Kitchen completely clean before I went to bed ie sink shined

12/25 As soon as we finished opening our presents I went and showered, got dressed, and fixed my hair and make-up

 

So.... anyone else out there like me ? :) Truly taking baby steps. If so, please chime in so can encourage each other. A big shout out and thank you to the person who originally started this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been following this topic with a lot of interest. Organization has always been my downfall. All you ladies are so far ahead of me even though I know this isn't a race. My goal is to truly get organized and establish routines for my sake and for my kids and husband. I checked out fly lady on the recommendation of one of the posters on this thread. I can see this wil be very helpful to me. I need to start at the very beginning and work my way forward. I will try to add one thing to my routine each day. So-

12/24 Kitchen completely clean before I went to bed ie sink shined

12/25 As soon as we finished opening our presents I went and showered, got dressed, and fixed my hair and make-up

 

So.... anyone else out there like me ? :) Truly taking baby steps. If so, please chime in so can encourage each other. A big shout out and thank you to the person who originally started this thread.

I'm slightly beyond (but not by much) that baby steps stage, but I wanted to encourage you. Routines are the key. Just keep at them until they become second nature, and don't get discouraged if your organizational skills take a while to develop. I think that's where I've gone wrong many times. I want change NOW, and then I quit when it doesn't happen fast enough.

 

You're off to a great start!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am glad that so many of you find Flylady to be helpful. I am a multi-time Flylady drop out! I just never have gotten off the ground with her method. Two times I tried the shine the kitchen sink. Both times (because I"m an idiot) I used bleach on the sink and ruin some rubber thing in my drain causing flooding beneath my sink. Did I mentioned this happened TWICE! I can't keep up with the zone thing either. It never meshes with things right, or I get a week where I just can't get it done and then I completely forget about! I need constant reminders to keep on top of this stuff. The best thing though was learning to focus on hot spots. I don't do it nearly enough, but I do tend to find a small block of time, once a week and then dig into whatever is piling up. But all this talk about Flylady is seducing me again. I'm thinking maybe I should try again. But then the other half of me is saying: "You fool! You've already tried it umpteen times and IT DOES NOT WORK FOR YOU! NOTHING WORKS FOR EVERYBODY 100%. Right?

 

So anybody here who modified Flylady or found another system that worked better for you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my question, and it may be more appropriate as a spin-off thread: why do so many moms today (me included) read organizing books, join Flylady or other email lists, and on and on, when women in the past just DID their housework and whatever else they needed to do? What is the difference? Is it just that there is more to keep track of?

 

 

No, I do not think there is more - I think it is because we have more distractions. If I simply look at all the time I spend on these boards, checking email, facebook etc... oh my. I could spend this time just DOING stuff that needs to be done. I find it a matter of self-discipline and of having too much time available. I found that, the less time I have, the more productive I am. If I am off work, I procrastinate, because I have time. If I have a busy schedule at work and we do school, every hour gets put to good use and my house is cleaner and neater.

 

My grandmother woke up and simply went about her daily chores. She did not read about running her household, she simply did.

I most definitely have more time, because chores are much easier: driving to the store instead of walking and carrying the groceries, washing machine instead of boiling diapers on the stove, central heating with a furnace instead of carrying coal buckets up three flights of stairs - but I am not always using this time productively.

 

Also, we spend much more time micromanaging and supervising our kids. My mother did not take us kids to activities - if we wanted to do stuff, we walked or took the bus. The idea of full-time supervision is a rather novel one (and unique to the US; it is not done like this in my home country). Think of all the time mothers waiting around at kids' activities, and what productive stuff could be done in that time.

 

Lastly, people had less stuff and less space. That means less junk to keep organized and cleaned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So anybody here who modified Flylady or found another system that worked better for you?

 

I did Flylady successfully about 5 years ago when I had a much smaller house. It worked really well, but when we moved here, I could never get the routines to work for me again. This time around I'm having some success with Motivated Moms. You just do what's on the list. I like that. No thinking. LOL

 

I'm also trying to implement the Evernote/GTD system mentioned upthread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So anybody here who modified Flylady or found another system that worked better for you?

 

 

I've tried Motivated Moms, but didn't like how it had me running all over the house for one list. I much prefer starting one room and finishing it, then moving to the next.

 

I printed all the Flylady lists last month and went through them line by line and adjusted them to what I would like. I changed some things, added others. Now I have ideal lists typed up that I can try for. I haven't been able to finish it yet, but I'll keep trying and it will be better than it was before.

 

I see no point in shining my sink, btw. There are too many people in this house for the sink to stay shiny anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Years ago, when my kids were very young, I tried FlyLady several times and quit. The shining sink part wasn't "it" for me. My kitchen has never been a problem. My shiny sink was actually a made bed every morning. At a certain point I realized that her lists were just as poor a fit for me as the sink. I had much better luck just taking a notepad through the house and listing every possible chore that would ever conceivably need doing. Then I took the list and divided it by those done daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. I made an index card system for listing these. I bought a pretty little recipe box to store them in and a nice magnet to hold the current card on the fridge door. I really do like paper...and pretty things. Actually, the e-mail inundation was a poor fit also, for that reason. Never mind the fact that I preferred a completely offline system so that I wouldn't get trapped in the super-sticky web and spend hours trying to extricate myself (with all the self-loathing and guilt that implies). The best first step is to be true to your nature! Make change easy so that change will be easy. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Years ago, when my kids were very young, I tried FlyLady several times and quit. The shining sink part wasn't "it" for me. My kitchen has never been a problem. My shiny sink was actually a made bed every morning. At a certain point I realized that her lists were just as poor a fit for me as the sink. I had much better luck just taking a notepad through the house and listing every possible chore that would ever conceivably need doing. Then I took the list and divided it by those done daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. I made an index card system for listing these. I bought a pretty little recipe box to store them in and a nice magnet to hold the current card on the fridge door. I really do like paper...and pretty things. Actually, the e-mail inundation was a poor fit also, for that reason. Never mind the fact that I preferred a completely offline system so that I wouldn't get trapped in the super-sticky web and spend hours trying to extricate myself (with all the self-loathing and guilt that implies). The best first step is to be true to your nature! Make change easy so that change will be easy. :)

 

 

This is basically what I did--I just used the Flylady lists as a starting point. And my lists are typed up on my computer so I can print them, if/when I lose the ones I already printed out. I've also found that while an email from the Flylady is a nice sentiment, I never actually read them. I just delete them with all the rest of the trash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uff-da, I just read through the thread and have a million tabs open on my computer so I can read further. This is super inspiring to get more areas of my home/life organized. I've done a few big areas this fall and it's been great. Gotta push through the holiday season and get back to it to finish off. I have a goal of making my home magazine worthy, just to be clutter free and ready for company...while not losing sight of the fact that I have two kids and we are busy. Hopefully this will be the push I need!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have tried Fly lady and MM but neither is right for me. For me, I have areas that are "clean everyday" areas or things: kitchen spotless, laundry, beds made, floor swept, bathroom sinks wiped. Those happen daily, no matter what. Then I have bigger projects that I work on in a sort of GTD fashion: boys closets, hall closet, my closet, food cupboard....when I notice one area getting particularly messy or disorganized, it goes onto my project list, and when I have a moment I get things done related to that project. Having things all planned out, like MM and Fly lady, doesnt work for me. I generally keep a neat home but there are certain things, usually bigger projects like wiping baseboards, steam cleaning kitchen floors, windexing windows, organizing garage that I tend NOT to get to if they are not put in as Tasks in my chore list. So in addition to my regular everyday chores (whiich I dont write down as they are all pretty obvious) I have my Tasks related to a given project. If I decide this is the week to work on my younger's bookshelf, I will put down Tasks related to that project: 1) remove books from shelf. 2) sort books that are no longer age--appropriate to give to library 3) wipe down shelves.4) organize books by theme 5) reshelf books. Now, the reason this works well for me is that I used to NOT get larger projects done because I didn't break them down into smaller tasks. If I want, I could do one of these tasks each day. If I am super motivated or have extra time, I could do a few of these Tasks.

 

Then I figure out which large Project I want to tackle next, and do the same thing. Rinse. Repeat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alte, I like your idea for chores! I am quite drawn to that idea actually... hmmm *ponders* might set something like that up tomorrow, when it's pretty I'm much more inclined to do it - I've even been contemplating sticker rewards for myself :001_cool:, and I love the magnet/on the fridge part too!

 

You'll all be so proud of me! This morning I timed one of the items on my schedule, to make sure I could actually do it in 15minutes - If not it would have thrown off my whole day and my whole schedule. I did it in time with no problems! This feels like a huge hurdle, because I would have been tempted to give up before starting otherwise...

 

Then, I sorted through my filing cabinet, trashed a whole bunch of decade old papers, re-filed everything. Now I can actually use it again. And find my papers!

 

Then, I sorted some other things so that I could free up my inbox trays on the desk, for paper work/bills.

 

I've also been keeping up with the 'if it takes <1min, DO IT' thing and getting so many things done!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have tried Fly lady and MM but neither is right for me. For me, I have areas that are "clean everyday" areas or things: kitchen spotless, laundry, beds made, floor swept, bathroom sinks wiped. Those happen daily, no matter what. Then I have bigger projects that I work on in a sort of GTD fashion: boys closets, hall closet, my closet, food cupboard....when I notice one area getting particularly messy or disorganized, it goes onto my project list, and when I have a moment I get things done related to that project. Having things all planned out, like MM and Fly lady, doesnt work for me. I generally keep a neat home but there are certain things, usually bigger projects like wiping baseboards, steam cleaning kitchen floors, windexing windows, organizing garage that I tend NOT to get to if they are not put in as Tasks in my chore list. So in addition to my regular everyday chores (whiich I dont write down as they are all pretty obvious) I have my Tasks related to a given project. If I decide this is the week to work on my younger's bookshelf, I will put down Tasks related to that project: 1) remove books from shelf. 2) sort books that are no longer age--appropriate to give to library 3) wipe down shelves.4) organize books by theme 5) reshelf books. Now, the reason this works well for me is that I used to NOT get larger projects done because I didn't break them down into smaller tasks. If I want, I could do one of these tasks each day. If I am super motivated or have extra time, I could do a few of these Tasks.

 

Then I figure out which large Project I want to tackle next, and do the same thing. Rinse. Repeat.

 

I like your list of dailies that have to get done every day. I got up early this a.m. and have been walking around the most lived in part of the house: the kitchen/family room combo. I wrote down lists of what needs to be done daily and weekly for each section of the room (kitchen/family are really one big room).

 

Kitchen Daily:

Put things away (dishes, pots, food) - everybody

Unload dishwasher in a.m. - Mom

Run dishwasher in p.m. Mom or anybody Mom delegates

Clean surfaces - everybody

Set table - everybody

Load dishwasher - all day - everybody

Wash pots and pans - take turns

Sweep floors - take turns

Deal with mail (that gets piled up on the kitchen island) - Mom

Trash out nightly - take turns

 

Kitchen Weekly (Thurs. or Fri.):

Wash floor

Clean out fridge

Clean out pantry

 

Family Room/Front Hall 10 Minute Tidy up Every Evening (all kids available do this while Mom makes dinner):

Straighten coffee table

Put things away

Clean junk off corner chair (everyone dumps their stuff there)

Take items on stairs upstairs and put away

Sweep/vacuum/dust when needed

 

Dining Room Daily:

Put school books away

 

Dining Room/Living Room/Stairs Weekly:

Carve out 30 minutes on weekend to straighten, dust, vacuum (Mom plus one helper)

 

This is kind of an idealized version of what we do now except we aren't very consistent and drop the ball a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never been able to get into Fly Lady either. The idea that I have to shine my sink or put on lace-up shoes to have a clean house really annoys me! However, I did do Motivated Moms a few years back and it helped me to get certain routines established. I've tweaked things to make it work for us and haven't officially followed it since then but it was great to get us more consistent in our habits. MM is set up like AVA talks about, certain things are weekly, some daily, some monthly and others seasonly- except it is her list and not your own.

 

Like many others my biggest imediment to doing more is the time suck of the internet. We don't do a lot of outside activities, especially now with a newborn and also because I'm an introvert and too much time out drives me batty.

 

I like the idea of thinking in terms of habits. That is a more quantifiable goal to me and also setting limits on internet time, when that is done the other falls in place. My big goal is to establish more family traditions. I also want to take time every day for prayer and Bible reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This actually helped me! I was going through a long period about 3 years ago where I never seemed to finish any book. Then I started doing 52 Books and I have really been so successful at reading and finishing books. I get better every year. In fact just yesterday I was trying to make a list of the habits I really feel good about. I could come up with three. I brush my teeth about 4 times a day, I always make my bed in the morning and I do 52 Books! But if I can get into good habits there I can get into other good habits, right?

 

Right! I was just reading som online articles about forming habits and I also just finished Switch (because of this thread good book!) and saw several places that building habits is a skill you can become better at with practice.

 

My first habit for January will be making my bed. A friend sent me this interesting article about how making your bed is a "lynchpin habit": Make Your Bed! For Productivity, Profit, and Peace at Apartment Therapy.

 

Today I'll be scurrying around tossing the garbage, breaking down boxes, and generally doing the tidying up necessary after two days of festivity and the introduction of a bunch of new stuff. :) The kids will be busy with Lego creations for the next couple days, I'm sure, so I hope I can get a bunch done before we start back to school next week. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone else doing a yearly wrap up/ look ahead? Chris Gillabeau (AONC) has a great one- he uses a spread sheet with action points original outline additional overview

dh and ds are taking the laptop today so I'll be spending the day doing more purging and working on action points for 2013.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So.... anyone else out there like me ? :) Truly taking baby steps. If so, please chime in so can encourage each other. A big shout out and thank you to the person who originally started this thread.

 

I might have written the 31 Days to GTD series, but I'm back to basic baby steps myself again in January. I'm hoping that regaining the skills won't take as much effort as it did the first [3] times. :) But pregnancy and c-section recovery and holidays has meant everything has slipped.

 

I've come to realize that getting organized and building the good habits isn't a "once and for all" project, but ongoing -- like weight maintenance, laundry, dishes, etc. It's something that gets easier with practice and custom, but still has to always be done and is never completely "checked off" or on autopilot. Realizing that eased a lot of frustration with it and with myself, because it turns out I had this expectation that once I was "good enough" at it, I would be done and finished with it. Now I think of it in terms of practice, making it easier, and maybe even learning to enjoy living that way more than I enjoy being lazy. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone else doing a yearly wrap up/ look ahead? Chris Gillabeau (AONC) has a great one- he uses a spread sheet with action points original outline additional overview

dh and ds are taking the laptop today so I'll be spending the day doing more purging and working on action points for 2013.

 

Thanks for that link! That's really interesting.

 

On Friday my husband and I are going to set the kids in front of a movie or the wii and talk through schedule ideas and family goals (like when and how often read aloud evenings or family board games happen). We have a new baby and my husband just started a new job with new hours, so everything needs to be adjusted and expectations hashed out again.

 

I'm working on finalizing my list of habits I want to work on in 2013 (in lieu of goals & projects for 2013).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also dumped Flylady almost immediately. That was years ago, but she didn't fit the way I like to do things. This blog post from Amongst Lovely Things has been my best motivation when it comes to housekeeping. Like everything, I don't follow it exactly but listing out every task and giving it a time to be done is something that works really well for me.

 

 

For those of you decluttering as part of this getting organized project, what do you do if your spouse is a packrat and you're trying to declutter? I desperately need to declutter around here but my husband freaks every time i try. He thinks I'm too minimalist :p Also, I'm halfway through GTD and loving it but still a bit unclear on this big brain dump concept. Anyone want to walk me through it as if I'm 5? So I get a notebook and start writing down everything that I need to do/remember whether it's home related, school related, parenting, marriage, or project-related. At the end I'll have a notebook full of random stuff, right? Then what do I do?

 

Yes, I did this and ended up with a whole list of random stuff. Some were things that I do on a regular basis, and it went into either my daily or weekly schedule. (I ended up sticking with paper.) That left me with a list of "projects." I am putting some of those into a yearly schedule (this was a great reminder that now is the time to plan next semester's science - now is not the time to choose which Algebra to use in two years), some have been tossed, some are sitting in my folder waiting for me to figure out what to do.

 

 

I have read much of this thread, not all of it, and I'm interested. I checked out Switched from the library and have read a few chapters. I need to get Getting Things Done. Here's my question, and it may be more appropriate as a spin-off thread: why do so many moms today (me included) read organizing books, join Flylady or other email lists, and on and on, when women in the past just DID their housework and whatever else they needed to do? What is the difference? Is it just that there is more to keep track of? My mil just passed away in October at age 78. She grew up on a farm and then was a farm wife and raised five kids. She gardened, raised chickens, helped during harvest, etc., cooked, cleaned, was active in her church and community. I don't recall her ever having a planner. She had an address book and a calendar. That was it AFAIK. Do we make things more complicated than we need to? Or do we need more organizational tools, and if so, why? My MIL had a busy life but she kept everything going. Her house wasn't spotless but it was usually fairly neat and clean. I'm not asking this to point fingers at anyone, because I include myself as one who reads the organizing books, etc. I'm just mulling this over and wondering what others think.

 

Since the Mayans stole my post on the 21st, I will repeat myself....

 

For me, technology is the difference. We bounced between homes when our purchase agreement fell through two years ago. For about 8 weeks we found ourselves with no TV, no internet, and only my dh's "dumb" phone. Even though I already limited our time spent with electronics, it was shocking how much free time I found myself with. My dh and I started (and kept) the habit of reading or playing games in the evening. For awhile, I barely turned the computer on and it was really, really nice. But that habit hasn't stuck as well. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone else doing a yearly wrap up/ look ahead? Chris Gillabeau (AONC) has a great one- he uses a spread sheet with action points original outline additional overview

dh and ds are taking the laptop today so I'll be spending the day doing more purging and working on action points for 2013.

 

This was my plan for New Year's Day, but I can see how it might take longer than that. Thanks for those links!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tracy thanks for that link, looks like some interesting reading!

 

Mystie I'm with you on trying to reorient everything with a new baby. And now that Christmas is over I feel like we are entirely too full of stuff again. I love the family but they always buy too much stuff. We did a clearing out before Christmas but the kids are still overflowing. We've got to do some rearranging in their rooms for sure.

 

For some reason as well I'm feeling very antsy to do a big rearranging and organizing- don't ask me why as 2 wks ago I was perfectly happy. We are to be getting some furniture (hand me downs) for the basement and I'm very excited to get some rooms organized down there. I'm working up the nerve to ask dh if we can move our computer desk downstairs. It is a catch spot for misc things and I hate having it in the main area. I've wanted to put a reading nook in that area for a good while.

 

I've also got some Christmas money that I'm thinking about spending on some different things around the house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought the book Getting Things Done years ago and then never read more than a few pages and finally gave it away in a book purge. Now I'm regretting it! See! You should never give your books away, no matter what the decluttering experts say! That post from Amongst Lovely Things is good, but another of my problems is that I can't do housework first thing in the a.m. Housework just drains me. After I'm done I have to take a nap! LOL. So the idea of keeping the hours of 7 - 10 a.m. just for housework means that I'd never actually get to the academics we need to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought the book Getting Things Done years ago and then never read more than a few pages and finally gave it away in a book purge. Now I'm regretting it! See! You should never give your books away, no matter what the decluttering experts say! That post from Amongst Lovely Things is good, but another of my problems is that I can't do housework first thing in the a.m. Housework just drains me. After I'm done I have to take a nap! LOL. So the idea of keeping the hours of 7 - 10 a.m. just for housework means that I'd never actually get to the academics we need to do.

Hee hee. I gave my copy away, too, and I'm kicking myself for it. Live and learn, I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

For me, technology is the difference. We bounced between homes when our purchase agreement fell through two years ago. For about 8 weeks we found ourselves with no TV, no internet, and only my dh's "dumb" phone. Even though I already limited our time spent with electronics, it was shocking how much free time I found myself with. My dh and I started (and kept) the habit of reading or playing games in the evening. For awhile, I barely turned the computer on and it was really, really nice. But that habit hasn't stuck as well. :)

 

This is such a good point!

 

Would anyone care to share strategies?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Would anyone care to share strategies?

 

Today is an exception, but most of the time I don't have the computer open for anything that is not school related until lunchtime. Lunchtime is the time I can check the weather, the forum, the news, etc for about thirty minutes. That seemed reasonable to me and because it is at one time of the day, every day for the most part, I can keep that up.

I don't get on the computer before school, before exercise, before housekeeping or before bedtime. It's too easy to run over into those activities.

 

My last post got eaten too, but I think I said something about how it isn't always technology getting in the way. I could, and would, lose myself in a book or project. Not "easy" books, and not "unimportant" projects, either. But it was pretty easy for me to be distracted from what needed to be done by what I wanted to be done with, if that makes any sense. So the laundry would be washed and dried, but not folded, because I HAD to finish that last chapter. Or I HAD to get started on the cooking, or HAD to finish the painting. I swear, half of my trouble with organization came from teaching myself to finish strong. And I'll even tell myself that, when I'm itching to get working on a project. You have to finish this first.

 

Probably the other half of my trouble with organization came from not understanding the time requirements for things like sweeping and cooking, and exercise, and the myriad of projects that always need to be done. I might schedule something to be done in 30 that would take 45, or something for 1 hr that really would only take 15, and hope it would all even out over time. But it just wouldn't. So when I started work on my schedule I actually timed my chores for a good two weeks to get a feel for how much time I needed. That helped a good bit. It helped with school too.

I'm still working with the timing of things. I'd like to have a good garden this year, but I'm really struggling with setting up the weeding and watering work. And I'd like to be keeping bees in two years, and might get my first colony this year, so I've got to factor the bee-work this year, because I'm going to be going out quite a bit this year to my father's hives to handle the beekeeping year and get the time requirements.

So if anybody has tips on running a fairly large garden beset by rabid bermuda grass borders in 100+ degree summers.... :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Critterfixer, about gardening: raised beds! They really help cut down the weeds. I also use slave labor (I.e. kids) to weed. Ok, ipad them sometimes if it's an overwhelming amount of weeds. They each also have their own garden bed they care for and pick what to grow. Unfortunately, drought and sever heat has knocked out our garden the last two years, but row covers might help. I need to start planning this year's garden before too long...

 

I am working this week on my gtd lists and goal stuff. I am finally done sewing like a madwoman before Christmas. Well, mostly. I still have a few things to fix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to do raised beds, but honestly, I have so much trouble with them drying out here. But sunken beds usually drown in the spring rains. That said, I could probably amend the ground and do a half-raised bed and see what happens.

The drought got me last year too. But this year...well, hope springs. Usually crash-lands somewhere in the first half of July, but it springs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's our problem, too. We went from crazy flash floods to droughts, so darned if we do, darned if we don't! I was thinking of digging out my old buckets and containers from when I had a container garden just in case for this summer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The advice that has worked best for me in creating new habits is "make it easy to do".

 

Also I loved the idea of a "lynchpin" habit when I read that book but haven't been successful in creating one "on purpose" -- and making my bed wasn't one for me even though I didn't create that habit hoping to change other things too (a la lynchpin).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My last post got eaten too, but I think I said something about how it isn't always technology getting in the way.

I agree to a point, but that doesn't get to the question: What is the difference? There have always been distractions, and I assume that there have always been people who have prioritized better than others. But we live in a world where it is expected and normal that we keep up with fb, check emails daily, check news, weather, WTM boards on a regular basis. Even if you are able to keep that at 30 minutes a day (which I suspect is not the norm for most of us) that is time that could be spent doing something else. This is just a reality of the world we live in, but a significant difference, I think. Like I said, I really didn't realize how significant until I lived it.

ETA: I hope this doesn't read as defensive or rude. That is not at all how I am feeling. I just think it is very interesting to ponder the differences between then and now. :)

 

I don't know if anyone wants to "go there" but the other big difference is attitude, IMO. I'm afraid my thoughts on this may not go over well, so I will leave it at that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree to a point, but that doesn't get to the question: What is the difference? There have always been distractions, and I assume that there have always been people who have prioritized better than others. But we live in a world where it is expected and normal that we keep up with fb, check emails daily, check news, weather, WTM boards on a regular basis. Even if you are able to keep that at 30 minutes a day (which I suspect is not the norm for most of us) that is time that could be spent doing something else. This is just a reality of the world we live in, but a significant difference, I think. Like I said, I really didn't realize how significant until I lived it.

ETA: I hope this doesn't read as defensive or rude. That is not at all how I am feeling. I just think it is very interesting to ponder the differences between then and now. :)

 

I don't know if anyone wants to "go there" but the other big difference is attitude, IMO. I'm afraid my thoughts on this may not go over well, so I will leave it at that.

 

I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

 

I think our ancestors spent lots of time sewing, mending clothes, quilting, washing clothes down at the river, farming, etc. We spend time online. I also think expectations for our kids and families are higher than they were before. In the 50's, very few housewives had cars that they ran around in all day. Most were at home all day while their children were at school. The kids would come home, play in the neighborhood, and then eat dinner, do homework, etc. Now so much more is expected.

 

I choose to spend a lot of time online. I don't use it as an excuse of why I don't do other things, I know it's a choice I make. It's a choice our ancestors didn't have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also think we are expected to be more child-centered and spend every spare moment with our children and even carve out time that isn't spare moments for them. I don't know how common this practice was throughout history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

 

*donning flame retardant suit*

 

One attitude difference is that 100 years ago, women had to do certain things. They had to cook supper or their family would starve, had to keep a garden, mend clothes, etc. I think we would all find the ability to do these things just fine, if we knew supper wasn't just a phone call away. Again, this gets back to technology - this time as an enabler - and I'm not complaining. LOL

 

Then there is the one I think I will get flack for. I see women constantly patting each other on the back for doing nothing. Let's take my friend "Jane." Jane manages to find time to post pictures and updates to facebook every day. Jane freely admits to spending 6 or more hours on line every day. Meanwhile Jane's kids literally tear her house apart, her husband works 10+ hour days but does almost all the dishes and laundry, and it is his "job" to bathe and put kids to bed because she is "off work" once he gets home. Jane's friends and family tell Jane all the time that she works so hard, that she needs more time to herself, that her husband is a jerk if he suggests that maybe something isn't working about this situation.

 

I see way too many women who are similar, albeit not quite as drastic as Jane. I have been a mini-Jane at certain points. Thankfully, my mom is old school. While almost everyone around me patted my back, she gave me some tough love and practical advice. She gave me the kick in the butt that I needed. I imagine this would have been far more typical 100 years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But we live in a world where it is expected and normal that we keep up with fb, check emails daily, check news, weather, WTM boards on a regular basis. Even if you are able to keep that at 30 minutes a day (which I suspect is not the norm for most of us) that is time that could be spent doing something else. This is just a reality of the world we live in, but a significant difference, I think. Like I said, I really didn't realize how significant until I lived it.

 

 

That doesn't resonate with me, but I know what you mean because I watch people do it.

I don't do any of it. I don't FB. I haven't checked an email in around two years.

I listen to most of my news in the car, or read up on it on Friday.

I scan the boards, but I don't consider it my duty to read every post or reply. And I take forum breaks regularly.

Weather is on my start-up page. Five minutes tops, and it hardly beats sticking my head out the door.

 

So yes. It probably does come down to attitude. In my case, it's an alternate reality. I've chosen to think that the expectations of society are simply not ones that I am willing to sacrifice my time for. One of my most obnoxious and weird ways, I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also think we are expected to be more child-centered and spend every spare moment with our children and even carve out time that isn't spare moments for them. I don't know how common this practice was throughout history.

 

I don't think it was so common, but I also don't think it is a bad thing - in moderation, of course. This is the beauty of technology. If we are using these tools wisely, we have that time available to give to our kids. If we are not, then we are missing that time and we don't have the good excuses that our foremothers (ha, there is a new one) did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There have always been ways to waste time. My mother and my grandmother both watched at least 2 hours of "soaps" every day. I know they watched at least 30 minutes of news every evening. Maybe being a good time-waster is genetic!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread developed at the perfect time for me -- thank you, all, for making it happen! I took several days (over Christmas, lol) to read through it, chase down a few links, and let things sink in.

 

My own opinion is that I am a naturally extremely organized person who can't organize / tackle / take care of things fast enough to keep up with the tasks, projects, and paperwork of a busy homeschooling household. Especially as, until very recently, I always shoehorned in plenty of personal pursuits that took my time, energy, and interest. Er, recently I started grad school, hmm.

 

... most of the time I don't have the computer open for anything that is not school related until lunchtime.... it isn't always technology getting in the way. I could, and would, lose myself in a book or project.

 

This is SO TRUE. After reading "Hamlet's Blackberry", I acknowledged that in order to create more thinking (and doing) time, it was time to restrict my tech use. The first, very effective decision was to stay off the laptop until the very end of my morning personal time, check email quickly, then get off until lunchtime. It really increased my effectiveness in the rest of my life, and made me more careful with my laptop time, too. I also made the realization early in the semester that I can't spend hours on one project; instead, work on it for an hour (or whatever), and then set it aside and come back the next time I schedule / find time for it. Again this made me more effective with the time I did spend on a project.

 

In truth, I am a tech-oriented person in a tech-oriented household. For general organizing and tools, partway through this first semester of library school it became clear to me that I needed a digital, portable to-do list again (like on my Palm PDA years ago), and maybe some sort of notes app as well. Ideally they would both be "in the cloud" so I can use them on my iPad away from home (basic smartphone only), and on my laptop at home. After some tinkering, I am pretty happy with Remember the Milk for to-dos, with a Google Calendar link, and Evernote for general notes (still exploring that, as I have time).

 

I totally use Google Calendar with lots of calendars for the various aspects of the household. At the moment I'm using the iPad apps Remember the Milk, Evernote, and Calendars by Readdle (better Google calendar interface), and on my laptop I use my browser to get to Google Calendars with a Remember the Milk add-on, and Evernote on the Web.

 

Thanks to this thread, I also started working on a better solution for my ds12's homeschool assignments. I've always created paper checklists for six-week periods, but this year it has been incredibly hard to sit down and do that. I wondered if I could somehow use Google Calendar, especially as I already use it for everything else calendar related AND my son has a Gmail address and an iPod Touch, so he could look at his calendar on the computer and on his Touch.

 

After some research and tinkering this morning, I settled on a new Google calendar just for his homeschool assignments, with each type of assignment (math lesson, history reading, ...) as a repeating event. The setup was so fast! Now I will do my standard divide the rest of the curriculum by the number of school days left, and set up the daily assignments for the next 4-6 weeks. That's as long as we can go before I assess and adjust for where he is behind or ahead of pace. What a relief.

 

Anyway, thanks for this great thread. I am excited to work with these organizing tools so they help me tend my life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I think we need some down time during the day. In the past, these might have been more like seasons. In the summer you were busy, busy, busy but in winter you were indoors and maybe doing quiet handicrafts. Women had sewing bees, chatted together at the well, lived in extended families so they had other women to talk to and help, in the winter you could sit around the fire and read the Bible or tell stories. My grandmother in law told me once about how every morning she'd see her husband off to work and then wash the diapers, hang them to dry, and dress up herself and the babies to go walking down the main street of the town. All the other moms would be walking too and they'd all stop and chat with each other. My grandmother recalled how her mother would always read the paper every morning and put off doing the dishes, and it used to annoy her father! So while there was a lot more drudgery, especially when you think of the pioneers eking out an existence, there were definitely down times, too. I think socializing was a big deal too. My parents were of the WWII generation and they were always going to cocktail parties and bridge parties, even while they were raising a big family. My neighborhood of lots of second generation Catholic immigrants were all like that.

 

I think I probably do indulge in the Internet to the detriment of my tidy home, but frankly, while I do want a pleasant house, I don't need perfection. I need and like the information, conversion and interaction I can get on line. I think it is a simple case of finding the golden mean in our new era, where people relax and connect in a different way.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I think we need some down time during the day. In the past, these might have been more like seasons. In the summer you were busy, busy, busy but in winter you were indoors and maybe doing quiet handicrafts. Women had sewing bees, chatted together at the well, lived in extended families so they had other women to talk to and help, in the winter you could sit around the fire and read the Bible or tell stories. My grandmother in law told me once about how every morning she'd see her husband off to work and then wash the diapers, hang them to dry, and dress up herself and the babies to go walking down the main street of the town. All the other moms would be walking too and they'd all stop and chat with each other. My grandmother recalled how her mother would always read the paper every morning and put off doing the dishes, and it used to annoy her father! So while there was a lot more drudgery, especially when you think of the pioneers eking out an existence, there were definitely down times, too. I think socializing was a big deal too. My parents were of the WWII generation and they were always going to cocktail parties and bridge parties, even while they were raising a big family. My neighborhood of lots of second generation Catholic immigrants were all like that.

 

I think I probably do indulge in the Internet to the detriment of my tidy home, but frankly, while I do want a pleasant house, I don't need perfection. I need and like the information, conversion and interaction I can get on line. I think it is a simple case of finding the golden mean in our new era, where people relax and connect in a different way.

 

Very well said, Faith.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I think we need some down time during the day. In the past, these might have been more like seasons. In the summer you were busy, busy, busy but in winter you were indoors and maybe doing quiet handicrafts. Women had sewing bees, chatted together at the well, lived in extended families so they had other women to talk to and help, in the winter you could sit around the fire and read the Bible or tell stories. My grandmother in law told me once about how every morning she'd see her husband off to work and then wash the diapers, hang them to dry, and dress up herself and the babies to go walking down the main street of the town. All the other moms would be walking too and they'd all stop and chat with each other. My grandmother recalled how her mother would always read the paper every morning and put off doing the dishes, and it used to annoy her father! So while there was a lot more drudgery, especially when you think of the pioneers eking out an existence, there were definitely down times, too. I think socializing was a big deal too. My parents were of the WWII generation and they were always going to cocktail parties and bridge parties, even while they were raising a big family. My neighborhood of lots of second generation Catholic immigrants were all like that.

 

I think I probably do indulge in the Internet to the detriment of my tidy home, but frankly, while I do want a pleasant house, I don't need perfection. I need and like the information, conversion and interaction I can get on line. I think it is a simple case of finding the golden mean in our new era, where people relax and connect in a different way.

 

Absolutely. My great grandmother is 96 and still as spry as when she was 50. She was quite a rockin lady in her time and had down time for sure. You just have to prioritize, divide up the work, and actually get stuff done instead of making lists of what needs done (like me). ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that although there were always distractions, the semi-addictive quality of the internet, coupled with it being impossible to spend time on it without doing something else simultaneously, is somewhat unique.

 

Also, the prior rhythms of the seasons are worth re-emphasizing. When you know you are going to need your preserves for the winter, but also that once the harvest is preserved you will have some 'down time', it makes it easier to persevere and get done, with light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. I don't think that there is any light at the end of our tunnels now unless we put it there ourselves; something that can be very difficult to justify.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...