Nothing like a little productivity creepin’ to start off a Monday morning. I know Mondays have a bad rap but I kind of like them. They are full of promise and usually start before the whole week has gone to shit. Of course it helps if you like your job, which fortunately for Isobel and my troupe of misanthropic cats, I do.
The most important thing I’ve learned since staying home with Isobel is time management. I don’t have a boss looking over my shoulder and telling me how to spend my time. How I choose to spend my time is 100% up to me and if I don’t use it wisely I fall down into one of the several pits of guilt we parents dig for ourselves. I use this list to remind me of how much needs to be done and most importantly when it’s okay to stop.
You might look at this list and think, “Wow, that’s too much cleaning!” but keep in mind a few things: 1. these chores are spread over two people, as Anthony is a willing accomplice 2. when you spend all day at home you make more messes and have to clean up more 3. we don’t accomplish all of them perfectly every week. If you’re looking at this list and thinking, “Wow, that’s not nearly enough cleaning!” then I’m not really sure how you found your way here. Some things I just don’t bother cleaning. Has a family of raccoons moved in? No? We’re good.
How I Use My Chore List
I can’t stick to a rigid schedule to save my life, but at the same time, certain chores a cyclical. Apparently I have to feed the cats every day, twice even, and dinner rolls around each evening whether I’m prepared or not. And I’m embarrassed to tell you the number of times I’ve forgotten to push the trash to the curb for pick up. So you see, I’m not sticking to a chore schedule. The chore schedule sticks to me.
I’ve put a lot of thought into this chore list, and it works for me because I’ve found the right combination of rigid and flexible. I can swap certain tasks around if I need to without the whole thing falling apart and yet it keeps me on track for the things that simply must be done. If you look carefully you’ll find that this is more just a chore list. It’s also a family schedule.
I gave the chores each a different color not only because it’s beautiful but because each color signifies a different category. This list covers household chores, meal planning, small business tasks, fun things to do, stuff I need Anthony to handle, and stuff specific to Isobel.
For example, on Thursday I’ve noted that it’s a perfect day to go to the park and feed the ducks because on other days we have other fun things available to us. I wouldn’t want to go to the park on a day we could go to the flea market or visit Kingston. Those things don’t happen every day. By noting when stuff usually happens I can make the most of our play time so we don’t get bored. When you are at home by yourself with a toddler all day boredom is your enemy. This list reminds me of what’s going on when so I can make the best choices.
I kept a version of this chore list in my binder forever. I hated having it on the fridge because it was, well, ugly. I’m sure you can guess how well that worked for my productivity. I love having it on my fridge now.
Do you have a chore list that you stick to? Am I alone on this?