Thursday, September 30, 2010

In the Zone

Several years ago I adopted the notion of scheduling things like cleaning and errands on particular days so the week would not be almost over before I realized I hadn't done laundry, shopped for groceries, made a meal, cleaned the bathroom, etc.  So, I set certain tasks to be done on certain days and the week as a whole flowed well and had more peace with my efforts to keep a schedule.  Of course, life happens and unexpected things come up, but I pretty regularly was able to do a few set things on a few set days of the week.

This Fall I decided to keep the principle, change it up a bit and re-commit myself to a part of my vocation - for me, a peaceful home life is directly connected to a home well maintained. That's just how it is for me.  It doesn't have to be that way for other people. I am me and I am okay with that.  Stuart Smalley anyone?

I thought of my house in terms of zones/spaces and designated one zone per day.  That means I only get to focus on one part of the house and use time I have during that day to accomplish what needs to happen only there. It is really freeing to be working in a space and think about the mess somewhere else, but know that that is a worry for another day. Not even a worry really, just a task.  It is like giving myself permission to not have it all in order. For today, I just need to stick to this one space.  It helps me stay focused and I would say I am mush more efficient when I set this type of schedule.

For me, Mondays are "Kitchen" day.  This involves meal planning for the week, shopping for food, putting away and organizing the groceries, doing any food prep I can for the coming meals, wiping down the cabinets, disinfecting, basically, anything kitchen related.  I had time this past Monday to re-arrange a couple cupboards and get rid of unused items in a drawer. Freeing to do it and I probably would have let it go a lot longer if I relied on a random time to do it.

Tuesdays are "Bathroom/Bedroom" day - the other half of the house.  I clean the bathroom, go through the girls closets and drawers for clothing they don't need anymore, clear off my dresser which seems to collect all things not mine. You get the idea. I just go through each room and do anything that the girls cannot or have yet to learn how to do themselves, I do and that's that. It is an easy task when I keep it for one particular day.

Wednesdays - a free day.

Thursdays are "Basement" day. Since the renovation and cooler weather coming on, we spend more time in the basement, which means it needs more attention. This includes doing the laundry. I only do laundry on one weekday and that is sooooooooooo nice. I may do a weekend load with the girls uniforms and a few extras, but not much.  I can have it ready for everyone to put away by dinner.  If I am lucky.  And focused. And the weather isn't gorgeous like it was today and we played outside forever.  But, generally, this works well.

Fridays are fun, do whatever days.

Saurdays are "Living Room/Dining Room" day. The kids do the Saturday chores that take care of these spaces. More time off for me and another reason I don't have to dust and vacuum during the week. Permission to ignore a mess.

When I set up my home into zones, I think better about the work to be done and I can stay "in the zone" if you will. 

It works. At least it does for me.  I can get easily distracted and then frustrated and then say things I regret and then need to ask forgiveness.  It's a vicious cycle. Is it cycle or circle? I can never tell whenever someone says it. Maybe I should have Wednesdays be my "Get My Hearing Checked Day."

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