Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Accomplishing Things in Units of Time

Who's seen the movie, About A Boy? The self absorbed man child main character Will played by the charming Hugh Grant who plays a British asshole better than any actor out there) does not financially need to work due to royalties from a pointless song his dad wrote decades before, lives a shallow life, where he fills his days with 30 minute units of time. Getting a scalp massage, one unit. Exercise (playing a game of pool) three units. 

True confession time; I'm not lazy in most things, but there are tasks I really hate spending time on, that I am required to do so. Lately, particularly for tasks and things that need to happen, but I'd rather spend my day doing something else, I've been trying to adopt the units of time approach and commit to working hard and fast for a certain number of units of time. Then, once that time chunk is done, I cut myself some slack, and give a short respite. At the office it might be hunkering down and spending two units, or an hour, updating and editing a policy manual, but then stop, give myself a stretch and rest break, grab some water, and then dive into another task, or another unit or two of the same task. 

At home, I've been trying the same strategy. When I work hard and fast, but for limits of time, I really can get a lot done. Both  bathrooms were in need of through cleaning since we left Sunday in a whirlwind, and hopped back to work right away without tidying as we used the rooms. I hate cleaning bathrooms. I've found in one unit of time each, I can get them back to how a normal family's bathroom might be. We are notorious for letting loads of clean clothes pile up unfolded, but in 30 minutes, I can fold, sort and put away 3-4 loads of laundry, improving the aesthetics of my family room quickly.




My bathrooms still have clutter, but gone are the hard water marks in the sinks, the dust bunnies,and the small piles of dirty laundry. 

I know, I am a grown up and should just be able to get on with properly managing a household, but I've never been a neat person, and this is a strategy that works for me. If you are curious, here is the clip from the movie I mentioned. I highly recommend you watch the whole movie if you haven't yet.





7 comments:

  1. I set my timer for 15 minutes and work on a job, when the timer goes off I reset it twice more. At 45 minutes I take a 15 minute break. I have also discovered I can do my dishes and clean the kitchen counter in the 25 minutes my laundry is washing and the bathroom gets cleaned in the 45 minutes my clothes are in the dryer

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    1. You sound efficient. This efficiency is what I'm striving for.

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  2. That is a great strategy to use. Years ago I was following "Flylady" who recommended you work at tasks 15 minutes at a time, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed by them. I need to get back to something similar as tasks I hate doing and put off doing like sweeping the steps or cleaning the bathrooms really take no time at all.

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    1. If I would stay on top of the fast jobs, I'm sure I'd find more fun time.

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  3. I often follow a similar approach, and it works well. At work, I'm bouncing between meetings, which makes being productive basically impossible. But, when I have a day with more open time, I like that approach. At home, I just create a to do list & tackle it. I seem to mind the menial work less at home.

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    1. Meetings areabsoute time sucks. The same approach could be used for agendas-knock out everything in 30 minutes, and move on.

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  4. I did see that movie but haven't applied to "unit" strategy to housecleaning though I probably should lol! I'm not a great "housekeeper" and don't feel at all driven to improve. I do short bursts of time and energy on household tasks then try to ignore them!

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