Monday, October 4, 2010

Limit Your Chores

Lux CP2428-59 Mechanical Classic Timer, White

Since I've started homeschooling my oldest son in kindergarten, we have established a pretty solid routine for our mornings, and it's working out well. After breakfast, we do chores for half an hour. One of the things that's helping me the most to stay on track time-wise is a handy wind-up kitchen timer.

There's an old saying that works expands to fill the time allotted to it. I find that to be so true in my own life. The other day, for example, one of our afternoon chores was to pick up the basement, which is also the play room. I was sure this job was going to take two hours, judging by how much of a mess it was. So of course, I was dreading the job. But instead, I grabbed my timer, set it for 15 minutes (thinking that surely I could handle it for 15 minutes), and we got to work. Since we were working against the timer, we all hurried. You know what? We got it fifteen minutes.

The timer challenges my assumptions that an undesirable job is going to take up a lot of time (and thereby put it off). Seeing that jobs take much less time than I previously thought builds confidence that the job is indeed doable (and therefore much more likely to get done!). If there is an unpleasant task you are facing today, I encourage you to set a timer, and get to work for a manageable number of minutes. Even if you don't finish it completely, you'll be further ahead than you would have been. But then again, you just might get that job done.

Have a great day!

(linked to Works for Me Wednesday)


  1. That is such a good tip. I hate chores so much - I'm 28; I should've grown out of that by now - so breaking it up into bitesize chunks sounds great!

  2. The timer is the best way that I have found for having the best days. I set timers all day. for snack time, lunch time, clean up time, nap time. learning time. The kids also tend to cut dont on the how much longer questions when they know they just wait for the timer to go off. If we ever get off our timer and schedule its not the end of the world, but things just don't run as smoothly. I have a four year old at home, and babysit another four year old, and I have found that setting times and structure is the key to a good day for us. The cell phone(widgets, and calandar alarms) is my best friend when it comes to time management. :) have a great day and God Bless!

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  4. My 2 month old son is still recovering from a very long bout of Spinal Meningitis and I'm new to the "super structured" world of weighing a child before he eats, after he eats and then supplementing the rest. This tip will be EXTREMELY helpful in getting our life into a much more manageable status.