Despite what Kohana seems to think, I am not really on top of things. I am, at best, alongside things, and at worst, drowning beneath them. The last couple of days have been rough on the new schedule, and I may need to tweak it a bit.
1. I don't think I need to do two loads of laundry a day. I'm going to change the requirement to at least one so I keep up with it, but I have found myself running out of time, and today, out of actual laundry. When the baby comes there will be much more of it, but for now I think I can cut back.
2. I'm considering allowing myself one day a week not to do any of my daily chores. Some nights I am dog tired, or even sick, and I need sleep more than I need to mop up puppy prints. Actually, this is my main dilemma: listening to my body vs. following the schedule. Maybe I should do the night stuff earlier, like right after dinner. Now that I think of it, the morning is no big deal, and the afternoon tasks together take 15 minutes, tops. It's the nighttime that's hard. It's the most labor-intensive and it's the time I'm most likely to fold on my plan. What do you think–push it back? I could add one night task to afternoon but all of it is geared toward closing down the house for the night. I don't want to mop in the afternoon just to have the dogs muddy it up again, or to leave crumbs for possible critters at night. It's the same with running the dishwasher. There are times, though, that my schoolwork is incredibly heavy and I end up having to sacrifice sleep to do it and the housework. I cannot lose sleep right now.
3. One smart thing I've done is to give myself time limits on the major cleaning tasks. I am resigned to the fact that I'm not going to have a sparkly clean house in one week after having let it go for so long. So today I spent a half hour on the bathroom and no more. It's partly because I am using actual cleaner (I'll go back to natural once the house is in order) and I don't want to breathe in the fumes that long. But it's also because I plum can't stand to do anything for more than a half hour. Next week I won't need to spend nearly as long on the tub, sink, or toilet, so I can move to purging magazines and sweeping up hair (and oh…the hair…!).I am completely resisting the urge to super-clean. This is what a person with an ADD brain does: housecleaning is boring, so she doesn't do it; everything piles up, creating a clogged household and mind; she gets overwhelmed and angry; she super-cleans, working vigorously until exhaustion; becomes so sick and tired of cleaning that she never wants to do it again; everything piles up; and the cycle continues. The only way that I've found to deal with the cycle is just not to participate in it. I have to fight the impulse to get it all perfect (and perfectionism paired with an inability to complete tasks is another ADD trait which leads to frustration and a deep sense of defeat) and be willing to limit myself to a little at a time. Starting and stopping is hard for me too, hence the time limits.
4. Really the theme of the whole process is It Will Get Easier. I'm totally banking on this principle. Already it's easier to keep the dining room table cleaner. For one thing, cleaning up a month's worth of pile-up takes longer than a day's, and for another, I just don't put stuff there anymore. Going through the mail as soon as I get it out of the box is not on the schedule officially, but if I do it I won't have to look at it junking up the table. So I'm looking for everything to get easier and faster, both from practice and the pile-up principle.
5. I swear the dogs are happier. I am not making this up. First of all, it's stimulating for them, especially Lenny, to see me do anything but watch TV, study, or surf blogs. Second, they have more places to poop now that I clean it up every day. They get seriously distressed if their favorite spots are full. Most of all, though, I am happier and more even, which makes everybody feel better.
6. I still haven't come up with rewards. I need your help! What would motivate you? I think I need to come up with daily as well as weekly rewards. Right now if I miss a day I am ruined for the whole week, which makes me just want to give up. I am thinking of hinging internet time on it. Crazy, I know.
Well, gotta spend 15 min. in the office now.
If your house is dirty, I still love you. I love you especially.
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