Tuesday, 18 October 2011

just 5 minutes

For all of you who are self-disciplined and have no problems getting to the mundane chores of the day, this won't be helpful. I applaud you, and wish I was more like you.

But if you have ever had trouble doing household tasks because there are always just so many more appealing things to do, I'll pass on a little trick I sometimes use.

I trick my mind into doing many tasks by saying, "Just 5 minutes. Just 5 minutes."

And it works! Because 5 minutes doesn't sound so bad for a lot of things.

Yesterday this was my list of "just 5 minutes" projects:

1. cleaning toilets

2. dumping out a huge Rubbermaid container of cards, letters, momentos, bills, clipped out magazine articles, travel brochures (some from 20 years ago), ticket stubs, etc... and actually SORTING THE WHOLE THING! This was a task I was putting off for about 20 years, so it was high time. I dumped out the entire container onto the bed, then sorted for "5 minutes" (3 hours). Fun times in memory lane.


[some of the treasures that I found are pictured here: a water bottle wrapper from Pondicherry, India (1995), ticket stub from the first "big show" I went to (The Lion King, 2001), bookmark from India (1995), a Chiclets package from Morocco (1992), a ticket stub from a Toronto Maple Leafs game (1994), a letter sent to me in the hospital in Indonesia (1995), airline tickets to Calcutta (1995), ticket stub from an amazing concert in Havana, Cuba (2002), a business card from a remote restaurant in the mountains near Fez, Morocco (1992), a ticket stub from the Great Hall of the People, China (1998)]

3. dusting

4. the dishes

5. vacuuming

6. playing Playmobil (isn't this bad? That I can't get down on the floor with my kid without thinking "ok - just 5 minutes"? The 5 minutes turned into 25 before I even knew it. Lesson learned. Just let go of that feeling like I have to get things done and play. Because this too shall pass too soon.)

So there you go. Your inspirational household task tip of the day.

6 comments:

  1. Dumping that container on the bed was a scary move, because you couldn't go to bed until you dealt with the stuff. You're a brave woman!

    Did you find anything that dated back to YDT?

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  2. Of course! You didn't think I would throw those treasures out, did you? I've just posted a photo that includes some of the things I found.

    I do the same trick with the laundry - dump it on the bed so that I have to fold it and put it away before I sleep. Sometimes that trick works, and sometimes I just come to bed, notice it hasn't been done, put it back in the laundry basket unfolded, and sleep. My tricks have limited success.

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  3. that's a great way to tackle things. I too tend to leave thing until I "have time" which of course NEVER happens! I even hold off on responding to people's e-mails, because i want to wait until I have time to really focus and write them a real letter... then three weeks later I realize it's still sitting there and I feel terrible. I've tried the "just 15 minutes" thing but sometimes even that feels like too long -- I will give the "five minutes" a try!

    And by the way, I am reading all your posts... sorry I comment so seldom. I'm always interested in what you're saying.

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  4. Thanks Heather - no need to comment all the time! We can talk too! I'm the same way about time. I always tell myself I'll get to this when that is done, but that is never finished. I think I have a chronic problem with "finished". I'm good at starting things - finishing, not so much. Possibly a blog topic there... :)

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  5. Rebecca if your girls ever want an eager play mobile player, give me a call. These days I look for excuses to play with play mobile and kind children :)

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  6. Jess: I will definitely take you up on that! HOpefully my kids will fit the "kind" category...

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