The Write Life Balance: Take 10
This month, Susan Meier returns to expand on her ways to Take 10 and get things done in #TheWriteLifeBalance...
Last month, I explained my theory of working in 10-minute chunks:
You can spend as little as 10 minutes a day on small tasks that eventually will net you a clean house, clean car, time to write and efficiency at your day job.
This week, I’m going to show you how that works.
Here’s the deal. You can go around your house finding odd 10-minute projects and doing three of them every day, and you will be happy with the results. Or you can be just a tad more organized and create a nice flow that gets you through most of your cleaning so housecleaning doesn’t take your entire Saturday.
When I was a busy mom with a day job – who wrote every night – this is what my 10-minute weekly routine looked like:
Coming off a weekend, everything is chaos. So, I would pick three 10-minute projects that would give me the sense I was in control again. For instance, my family usually spent Sunday in the family room watching football. On Monday evening, when we returned from school and work, that room would be a wreck. The floor needed to be vacuumed. The end tables needed to be cleaned. Throw pillows needed to be gathered and put back where they belong. While dinner was cooking, or after we ate, I would do those three things. It wouldn’t take me more than three blocks of 10 minutes to tidy that room, and I would breathe a sigh of relief when it was done.
Your Monday “thing” might be a kitchen disaster from baking with kids or cooking all weekend. So pick three kitchen projects.
Or maybe it’s your bedroom. Every other room in the house gets attention except your bedroom because no one sees it. It’s your “dirty” little secret. That’s the perfect place to do three 10-minute projects, straighten up your private space, and make yourself feel you have control of your world.
Just what it sounds like. I have three bathrooms. Three toilets. I would task batch and do all three on the same day. But also…I would clean the bathroom sinks. Seriously, one sink plus one toilet is 10 minutes. Take that times three for my three bathrooms and you have thirty minutes. The amount of 10-minute work I wanted to get done every day. (Score.)
I would pick any three windows.
No fun rhyme. No alliteration. I would do three dusting projects.
You guessed it. I would clean my fridge. But only in three 10-minute bites. I wouldn’t worry about what I couldn’t get done. I knew I would get to it the next week. Within a few weeks, every part of my fridge – the bins, the shelves, the pockets on the door – had been cleaned. After a few weeks of that, my “fridge Friday” was more like maintaining than heavy-duty cleaning. And I could get it done in a ten-minute sweep and pick two additional 10-minute projects to do that day. Like the stove. Or wiping down cabinet doors.
Saturday was my actual cleaning day. Sorry. Everybody has one. But after a week of 10-minute projects, some of my dusting had already been done. Three windows were clean. My bathrooms weren’t total disasters. And my fridge was off the Saturday cleaning menu. So, my weekly cleaning took about half of what it normally did.
If you like this routine (or make a list of your own 10-minute projects) and follow it for a few weeks, you will notice that your house isn’t a total disaster most of the time. You’ll also get in a rhythm. You won’t look around in complete overwhelm and say, “I’ll do something tomorrow. Or handle it on Saturday.” You’ll do a little something – three 10-minute projects every day – and you won’t just have a cleaner house; you’ll have a weird peace of mind that comes from knowing you are once again in charge.
You’re welcome. (LOL)
Come back next month when we’ll talk about how luck really is all about preparation.