How I get ish done


I think it’s probably pretty safe to say nearly everyone is familiar with the Nike swoosh “just do it” campaign. I take the just do it message from exercise into other parts of my life.

Yes, while this is primarily a healthy living blog, I don’t think living healthfully just merely encompass fitness, but should be included in the other parts of our lives as well.

Since transitioning from living with someone to living on my own (is anyone else sick of me saying that. Just, ugh. Sorry, but it’s a fact) learning how to get the house ish done was a big thing for me. There’s no longer anyone to barter with for chores, “If you vacuum, I’ll fold laundry”; it all falls on my shoulders.

Gross, right?!

One of my favourite tricks to get myself to do something is to time myself. I know, it sounds super lame doesn’t it? Kind of like timing a child to clean up.

Hey, I have an idea, you put your toys away and I’ll time you! Ready? GO!

Except, mine isn’t quite that lame.

I’ve found I usually anticipate tasks to take far longer than they actually do, so instead of actually doing said task, I’ll hem and haw, and think about doing said task for much much longer than it would actually take me to do the dang thing!

Enter: timing.

From experience I know it takes me roughly 6-8 minutes to load and unload the dishwasher. Seriously. Less than 10 minutes to get ‘er done. That’s nothing!

A few weeks ago I was commenting that I didn’t want to vacuum and actually puttered about for 40 minutes before vacuuming. How long did it take me to vacuum? Roughly 10 minutes (my condo is only 650 square feet, so your mileage my vary).

Another evening I knew I needed to clean my bathroom. Like, needed to. I also needed to preheat my oven to cook my salmon for dinner. I decided to see how much I could clean in the time it took my dinner to cook. Well, in 45 minutes I managed to scrub my bathroom from top to bottom, load and unload the dishwasher, and clean the kitty litter and take it downstairs to the garbage.

Normally I’d have puttered about, accomplishing nothing while waiting for my oven to preheat and my dinner to cook, but by the time my dinner was done, I’d done all the cleaning I needed to do. What a good feeling!

I’ve also starting making rules for myself. For example, anytime I boil water for tea I also empty and load the dishwasher. In the time it takes for me to do that, my water is boiled. It’s become second nature, so the point where I don’t even notice I’m automatically dealing with my dishes.

This approach can be extended to so many areas of our lives. I know I will spend far more time anticipating a task than actually doing the task, so I’m working to get rid of that yucky anticipation feeling as much as possible.

The next time you’re dreading a task, I challenge you to get off your duff and just do it! I bet you’ll be suprised by how little time it actually takes!

Tell me: what’s your most dreaded task and how can you motivate yourself to get more ish done?

Mine is folding laundry. I despise it.

Just freaking DO IT already!

6 thoughts on “How I get ish done

  1. I somewhat do the same things, when i am making dinner i wash the dishes (no dishwasher in this place). But when it comes to the big stuff, vacuuming, laundry, bathroom scrubbing, Saturday is my day. I try and get it all done during the day that way i don’t need to worry about it sunday or during the week.

    • Saturday or Sunday is my chore day – it depends on what I have going on, but I find making time to do the little things during the week makes such a HUGE difference when it comes to the weekend.

  2. I try to tidy as I go during the week and clean on Saturday or Sunday. I actually blog a list of what I want to do and then follow up with what I actually did because putting it in public makes me more likely to do it and blogging about it will (I hope) help me see patterns in what I do and don’t do! Housework chore I hate most, hoovering, sweeping and mopping floors. I have wooden floors in every room and carpet on the stairs and in the tiny hall (I could swing for the person who thought that was a good idea!) but the floors never really look clean. I can tell because they aren’t sticky but even when I get down and scrub they don’t really look like I’ve made the effort!

  3. Pingback: Friday Randomness | Cowgirl Runs

  4. Love this! If only I spent as much time getting stuff done as I did COMPLAINING about having to get stuff done. I like to put on music, and tell myself that I only have to put laundry away (my most dreaded chore) for two songs. 90% of the time, I get in done in two songs, and the rest of the time, I’m on a roll so I finish it anyway. Works like a charm.

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