I’m back!

Not that I’ve been anywhere. I’ve been lurking, and feeling a bit like my progress in the #steppingonthecracks project has come to a screaming halt.

If you haven’t been following my project, it’s a series of challenges where I try out a new habit, technique or idea for 30 days to see how it works out. The idea is to put some of the things I’ve been reading about and learning into practise instead of filing them away under “interesting idea, should try this one day”.

I’ve had varying degrees of success with the different challenges, and I was about half way through challenge 9 (30 days of undone things), when the end of the year struck, holidays and various other unsettling events that threw everything out of line and most of my good habits went out the window, along with any capacity to make any progress on these challenges.

I’ve spent much of the past eight weeks feeling like I’d come so far, but that I’ve let myself down by letting everything go to shit. All the other stuff that was going on, well that was just an excuse to not do this.

I know! I’m being harsh on myself, and the perfectionist voice is speaking very loudly. It does that.

Last week (or thereabouts), I found the original hand-written list of the 30 little things I wanted to get done in December – you know, those things that take about five minutes, have been on your to-do list forever, but you can never quite get around to doing them. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, even though the project had collapsed, I’d still finished 20 of them. That’s two-thirds. For December, I think that’s a fairly reasonable achievement.

Hooray!

And many of the 20 things are things I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t started this challenge. The button would still not be sewn on. I probably would have lost it by now. I’d still be using towels with holes in them.

All that’s left on the list is:

  1. Book skin check
  2. Order yoga shoes
  3. Make a list of jobs that I can do in 5/10 minutes for when I have a short gap in my day
  4. Make a list of things I can do when I have low energy rather than go on my phone
  5. Get my baby slides scanned
  6. Finish the Facing Fear worksheets
  7. Get new cord for Kramstable’s greenstone pendant
  8. Sew buttons onto purple shawl
  9. Make a list of the beers in the beer books
  10. Wash baby mat

It seems perfectly doable. Other than the purple shawl buttons. That is not doable.

The list of things that I can do in 5-10 minutes has been a work in progress for a while. I haven’t finished it because I’ve never known what to do with it, or where to put it, which is probably a reason why there were 30+ undone things in the first place. And I never felt like it was complete, so it couldn’t be put anywhere.

(I’ve combined it with another list I started ages ago of things Kramstable could do when he’s bored. He wasn’t interested.)

So, in the interests of crossing things off the list, and acknowledging that this type of list is never going to be finished, and there just has to be a point where you say, “This is enough and I’m sticking it on the pinboard and next time I have five minutes spare I’m going to do one of these things”, I present it to you now.

  • Put some washing on
  • Put washing away
  • Wash up or put the dishes away
  • Clean out a shelf in the pantry
  • Empty the bins
  • Pick up stuff off the floor in the lounge room
  • Take things that are in the wrong place to the room they belong in (bonus points for putting them away)
  • Clean out a drawer or a shelf
  • Put 10 things away
  • Vacuum a room
  • Sweep the floors
  • Quick tidy of one room (10 minutes with the timer)
  • Clear off and wipe down the bench, coffee table or dining table
  • Wipe down the bathroom sink or the bath
  • Take out the compost or the recycling
  • Go through the fridge and throw out food that’s off
  • Dust a shelf and tidy it
  • Throw something out that’s broken or we don’t need
  • Refill soap dispensers
  • Update the freezer list
  • Unsubscribe from mailing lists
  • Write a thank you note
  • Find a new recipe and add it to next week’s meal plan
  • Book a doctor appointment or haircut
  • Go for a walk
  • Go outside and look at the clouds
  • Hang out with the chickens
  • Do some colouring in or drawing
  • Write in journal
  • Write down things to be grateful for
  • 5-10 minutes of breathing exercises or meditation
  • Have a glass of water
  • Make a cup of tea
  • Read a book
  • Doodle or scribble
  • Sort a paper pile
  • Organise a file
  • Make a to-do list
  • Process emails
  • Download photos from phone
  • Sort some photos
  • Put photos in albums
  • Do something from the 30 undone things list
  • Make a new 30 undone things list

Let me know what you think.

Do you have a list like this? What’s on your list that I missed?

Here’s to getting things done, one five minute block at a time!

Advertisements

30 days of undone things – days 2-6

I’m now six days into my challenge of doing 30 annoying little things that have been on my to-do list forever and that are mostly pretty easy to do, which which I just can’t seem to get done.

Day 2 (Friday): I put everything away off the bench top and cleaned it off (Number 2 on the list), and I put the instruction book and receipt for the new whippersnipper into the folder with the other instruction books (Number 11).

Day 3 (Saturday): I labelled the new jar for the marjoram and put it into the jar (Number 34 – it wasn’t on the original list) and I washed the fruit and veggie bags (Number 21).

Day 4 (Sunday):  I cleaned the cutlery drawer (Number 29)

Day 5 (Monday): I confirmed my blood donation appointment (I AM going to do this – Number 15) and I went to get my identity documents verified (half way to Number 13).

I also learned why we shouldn’t put little things off.

One of the things, that wasn’t on the original list but is on a list somewhere, was to get a plastic tub for the Christmas decorations instead of having them in a Huggies box in the car port (let’s call it Number 35). I went to get them out yesterday to put up my “…. days til Christmas” countdown tree, only to find that rodents had got into the box and destroyed several things, including my beautiful wooden Aarikka elves that I was given when I left Finland 27 years ago.

20161205-poor-elves

I’ve always loved these as they are so cute and they remind me of the year I almost had a white Christmas. I was devastated to see them like this. I was also shattered to find  some of Kramstable’s hand-made decorations from school had suffered a similar fate.

Don’t procrastinate about the little things or you might lose the chance to do them at all.

Day 6 (today): I mailed my change of identity documents to the credit card bank (the other half of Number 13). I cleaned everything off the couch (Number 22). I bought the new tub for the Christmas decorations. (Number 35. Don’t ask whether I put them in it…)

How are you going with your #30undonethings? Reply here or tweet me and let me know!

12 of 12 March 2016 – Part 2

Part 1 of this post, in which I try to get into the habit of an earlier bedtime, is here.

The story continues . . .

I decided that, even though I wasn’t feeling so good, I’d get up and go for a walk this morning. Slabs suggested I sleep in and walk later in the day. While the idea sounded good, I didn’t think this was going to work because it’s cooler earlier in the day and walking in the heat* is likely to have tired me out more. And that’s assuming I’d be able to muster up the energy to get out of the house later. I find it much easier to get my walks out of the way first thing, before I get caught up in everything else I’m doing during the day.

2 of 12: I did sleep in. A bit. For me. By the time I got up and out of the house it was light, so I decided to wander along the walking track, which I can’t often do because it’s too dark most days when I get up.

20160312-02

3 of 12: I took it easy. No 16 km walks this morning. 30 minutes was about 3000 steps, and I was grateful for the park benches dotted along the walking track, as I needed a rest by this point. This meant that I’d need to do seven lots of 30 minutes to reach my target. This sounded like a lot at 7am, but I was confident it was doable if I rested up in between.

20160312-03

4 of 12: These signs are quite new. I can’t figure out if the council retro-fitted the dog poo stickers or if someone who was sick of stepping in poo go the shits and stuck the stickers onto the signs themselves.

20160312-04

5 of 12: The river looking very peaceful this morning.

20160312-05

I cut my normal route a bit short because I was getting tired and my walk was taking longer than normal. See! I’m not pushing myself.

6 of 12: I used some of my walking time to catch up on my French lessons on Duolingo, which I’d recently started again after a long absence. I followed the principle of making a new habit as easy as possible to do, so I reduced my daily goal to one lesson, which is possible to slot in almost anywhere in my day. I’ve generally tried to do it first thing after dropping Kramstable at school on my way to work. So if you see me walking along hunched over my phone in the morning I’m not on Twitter (probably). I’ll be learning French.

20160312-06

After breakfast it was time to take Kramstable to swimming. An ideal opportunity to fit in two of those 30 minute walks I need to do. While it’s not the most pleasant and relaxing walk, as it’s mainly along main roads, it’s a good way to get us both moving.

The thing that struck me, as it did last week when we had to walk because Slabs needed the car, was how many cars went past and how few people were walking anywhere – I could count them on one hand each time. Most of the people that were walking were walking dogs rather than looking like they were walking to somewhere for a purpose.

As I watched the never-ending stream of cars go past, I wondered how many people were driving because it was quicker and easier than walking. After all, most people are busy, and taking an hour out of your day to walk to somewhere you could drive to and back in ten minutes is a big chunk of your day. Unless I’ve had no car, I’ve always jumped in the car and driven to swimming. It’s so much easier, I can leave a lot later and I have more time at home to do stuff like checking Twitter. I mean vacuuming the floors.

(What followed here was a ramble about the time needed to walk, slowing down, using the time as one-on-one time with Kramstable, environmental concerns about using the car for short trips. Followed by the eventual realisation that if I get up at the same time, walk for an hour less in the morning and walk to swimming instead I’ll still have the hour I would have saved by driving, plus all the other benefits. I’ll save all that for paspresentfuture: the director’s cut.)

8 of 12: Kramstable had a good swimming lesson.

20160312-08

9 of 12: While we were up the street today we noticed someone had tried to set fire to the community notice board. Nice one.

20160312-09

Also up the street, we learned some new roundabout etiquette where you indicate you’re going left before you even get onto the roundabout, and then go straight, confusing the hell out of people who are trying to cross the road. A change from the usual “indicate right when you’re going straight” crowd.

10 of 12: Washing day for the leggings!

20160312-10

11 of 12: Today’s leggings. Today’s step count: 21,406. Two days to go. I might just make it.

20160312-11

12 of 12: I made lasagna tonight. This is one of my favourite epic dishes that takes all afternoon to prepare. So you know that I’m not overdoing things, I had a rest first. And I went to bed early.

20160312-12

 

* By heat I mean anything above about 18 degrees when the sun is shining. The sun here is burny and melty, and saps my energy every time I go outside, regardless of the actual temperature. I’m told the sun is more intense in Tasmania than in other places, and I find it to be really uncomfortable to be outside in. I hate walking in the sun.

12 of 12 february 2014

12 February 2014 was a Wednesday, two days after a Public Holiday. This week is the second week of school and I’m still trying to get myself back into the routines. I’m struggling.

1 of 12 – The sun rose.

Image

2 of 12 – Juniordwarf’s current obsession is the TV show Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom. He rather likes the Nanny Plum character, and he’s designated me as the Queen and himself as the maid, AKA Nanny Juniordwarf. So he’s given me his crown to wear. I have permission to leave it in the car when I go to work, because I’m not a Queen at work.

Image

3 of 12 – Hobart was hit by a major storm on Sunday and we were driving home right in the middle of it. Some trees in St David’s Park were badly damaged and the park was closed this morning while they assessed the damage and made the area safe.

Image

4 of 12 – All that can be seen of the old Print Building in Salamanca Place from street level now.

Image

5 of 12 – The mountain emerging from low-lying cloud. Today was a welcome relief from the heat. (If you’re on the mainland, my definition of ‘heat’ might differ from yours . . . I have a very low tolerance.)

Image

6 of 12 – Zoe hasn’t been to work with me for a while. There is weird stuff going on in Teddy Land, and Zoe is now a witch who lives in a very messy house separately from the other teddies. (If you watch Ben and Holly you’ll understand, otherwise you may nod and move on.)

Image

7 of 12 – There was quite a lot of activity going on in the park when I left work and there were a few people standing round watching branches being cut off this tree. There were also a few cruise ship visitors around, and I wondered what they made of walking in between the demolition of the Print Building on one side of the street and the chainsawing of the trees in the park on the other side. (See photo 4.)

Image

8 of 12 – We got home to a delightful display of birds in our garden. We think we have identified these as Yellow Crescent Honeyeaters.

Image

9 of 12 – Some days the chickens don’t want to use the laying box. Earlier in the month we thought they’d stopped laying, only to find a stash of about 15 eggs in what has been dubbed “The Egg Butty”. Blame Juniordwarf for that one.

Image

10 of 12 – Whenever we let the rabbit out, the chooks don’t take long to move in.

Image

11 of 12 – Juniordwarf has allocated himself some jobs to do in his new role as the maid. One is the washing, but it’s a magic washing machine and he has to say, “Washing machine: wash all the clothes. Abracadabra!” (If you watch Ben and Holly you’ll understand, otherwise you may nod and move on.)

Image

12 of 12 Coincidentally today’s Ben and Holly story was the one where Nanny Plum and the Wise Old Elf swap jobs for a day, and the Wise Old Elf has to do the washing. “Washing machine: wash all the clothes. Abracadabra!”

 Image

P365 – Day 331 – i could write a lot about my bad day . . .

. . . but I won’t. It would all be ranty, venty stuff.
Instead I will focus on something good.
I know Juniordwarf is only five, and he’s only in Kinder and there shouldn’t be too much pressure on him and he will learn and develop at his own pace, and we just have to support and encourage him, not push him.
But it has occurred to both me and Slabs – independently of each other – that when it comes to reading, he’s a lot more capable than he lets on. We thought that a few fun activities to encourage him to work things out for himself rather than keep asking us to tell him things that we are fairly sure he could figure out if he tried, might not be a bad thing.
So we’ve signed up for a trial period for an online reading program, which he started earlier in the week.
So far it’s going really well and Juniordwarf is having a lot of fun with it. We think it’s great because he’s learning basic reading and spelling skills to reinforce what he’s doing at school and learning how to use a computer at the same time. All while he’s having fun.
I loved watching him enjoy himself this morning. 
His favourite parts are where he deliberately makes a mistake and gets told (in an amusing way) that he got the wrong answer.
Also today, despite the forecast of rain, it was a nice day, so we had no excuse not to get out in the yard and continue the never-ending task of clearing out the jungle, the undergrowth and the stickyweed.
These photos will serve as reminders of how far we’ve come over upcoming weeks as this thankless task continues.
Vege garden hell
Comfrey – I know it’s good for compost, but this is ridiculous
Stickyweed and feral grapevine
Most of the stickyweed has gone.
Also, if anyone knows what I should do with my feral grape vine, please let me know. 

P365 – Day 275 – MORE housework!

Today I decided I really needed to follow on from last weekend’s cleaning frenzy 

On today’s list were Juniordwarf’s bedroom

and the laundry. 
Both of these are rooms that kind of terrify me.

With Juniordwarf’s room, I think it’s going to be a matter of working with him to make sure he puts things back where they’re supposed to go after he’s finished with them.

This is a habit I’m trying to get into myself as well. It’s not always easy, especially when I think that I’m going to use that thing/do some more work on that project/ read that magazine/whatever in the next day or two, so there’s no point putting it away.

Only I don’t do it, so the project/magazine/book/thing just stays there.

And then there’s the next thing that I’m going to do/finish/read/work on, and the next one and the next one . . . and before I know it, the room is back to where it was before I cleaned it, I’m getting stressed at the mess, and it takes all day to clean it up again.

Believe it or not, there are things I’d rather spend my weekend doing than tidying up the house.
Today was a really concentrated effort to not only tidy things, but to find places for things that will mean they can be easily put back once they’re finished with.
I hope.
By the way, after I’d cleaned the laundry, I could see the pattern on the floor tiles. It’s kind of cool, I think.