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What does a domestic goddess have to do with time management?

November 29th, 2007 · 5 Comments

I don’t believe in time “management”.

Every single person on this planet has the same number of nanoseconds in their day as every single other human being on this planet.

So how come some are always complaining about not having enough time, and others just get on with it?

We cannot “manage” time – we can only manage how we use our time, how we think and how we feel about time. In my book, it’s all about juggling the hours, minutes and seconds of our life in the way that best fits who we are and what we want.

How long does it take…?

You remember we renovated our kitchen earlier in the year? It’s now so much better in terms of useability, functionality, storage space and pure gorgeousness.

And somehow I had been telling myself that the chaos we had been living in previously and during the renovation would diminish and the kitchen sink and benches would somehow miraculously stay clear and clean. I know, dreamland…

the beauty of simple things…

Recently, we had a very busy day and my dishwasher-emptier (youngest son) had been out at before and after-school sports, and I had been ferrying him around in between all the rest of those things I do as a working Mum… come dinner time, the dishwasher was still full of clean dishes from the night before. Woe is me. After dinner, the busy family dumped their dishes on any clear surface in the kitchen and went off to their evening activities. Usually they do put them in the dishwasher…

After dealing with the rest of my evening routine I passed through the kitchen on my way to bed and felt the mess like a blow to the gut. Y.U.K. I contemplated leaving it for the morning, but reminded myself that there is nothing I hate more than waking up to a dirty kitchen – especially in the morning get-kids-out-of-bed-and-to-the-bus-on-time routine.

So, heaving a big, martyred sigh, I proceeded to empty the dishwasher and restack it full again. As I pressed Start and wiped down the now clear sink and benchtop I glanced at the clock.

Exactly eight minutes had passed. Surely the clock had stopped?

Nope – still going.

That really was all it took!

Eight whole minutes to go from energy-sapping mess to uplifting gorgeousness.

Eight minutes to go from “I don’t have time…” to “oooh, nice…”.

Eight minutes to go from slovenly martyr to domestic goddess.

Eight minutes to go from getting up to a mess in the morning to getting up to a fresh, clean kitchen.

I need to remind myself of this every time I think I don’t have time to do something as simple as clean up the kitchen.

I get a huge energy boost from that clean sink every time I walk through the kitchen. And as a work-at-home mum, I go into or through that room more times in each day than I can count. The added spring in my step is worth well more than 8 minutes!

A Clearing Space Moment

How does mess make YOU feel? Are you putting it off because in your mind you’ve made it this huge task, needy of hours of your time and energy?

Can you stop the drain by simply getting in there and doing it? Clear that space for more important things. Tick it off your to do list. Feel how great that is.

Next time you’re doing some dreaded chore, pop the timer on and see how long it really takes you. You may be pleasantly surprised (and if it does take longer than you thought, at least next time you’ll know how long to set aside).

Best of all, with the additional energy surge you get from having things like a clean sink – you’ll find you accomplish much more in the time you have left. No more horrid chore hanging over your head, draining your energy and whispering its dirge in your ear as you try to concentrate.

Tags: Heart and Home · More Chores? · Noticing Miracles · Wonder Woman

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anne Maybus // Dec 2, 2007 at 5:43 am

    You are so right. For us the kitchen is the heart of the home so I am making a conscious effort to keep it tidy. Sadly those lovely, clear benches are an open invitation to Mr Dumper and he clutters every surface as he passes! One of us has a steep learning curve ahead. I’m just not sure which of us it will be!

  • 2 MindFul MiMi // Dec 3, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    Guess you still had to empty the dishwasher in the morning though – or was the son back then? :-)
    I feel with you. I have an 18 months old son and am pregnant with number two. I blame my irritability on the hormones :-) But I get more and more tired and sometimes I just can’t stand the mess. And the hormones make tears appear quickly.
    Read on in my today’s post.

  • 3 karen // Dec 4, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Ahhh Anne, I feel for you! My kids are really good at dumping stuff on any clear surface, and have cost me much cool over the years. I now take everything that is dumped (except for stuff needing refrigeration or liable to attract vermin) and dump it in all in one basket.

    They now know that if it gets left they will probably find it in the bottom of the basket – possibly the worse for wear. Most of their junk now ends up on the bedroom floor, which is preferable because I can shut the door on that :)

    Good Luck with Mr Dumper!

  • 4 karen // Dec 4, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Mimi and thanks for popping by again!

    My son was here in the morning – and back into the routine where I ask 10 times and he finally ‘remembers’ and puts away the clean dishes.

    Pregnant with an 18 month old in tow – girl you need to cut yourself some slack! I love Erma Bombecks quote about housework:

    “My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch on fire or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one cares. Why should you?”

  • 5 Donna // Jan 19, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Managing your brain is just important as time. My frineds say I am a ‘freak’. I work fulltime, I have 1 child and 2 step children, 4 beds and 3 baths..and my house is never messy; even when they ‘drop in’. I exercise 4-5 times a week, see my friends and go out to dinner. And I still get 8 hours every night.
    I believe in putting it where it belongs once. Most of us throw our shoes off only 1 step awat from the wardrobe, or half emptied the dish washer. If you had stepped the other way it would be ‘away’, or held on for 2 mins more it would be done. Try it. Shirts hang on the left, don’t let your husband put them in the right side.
    Another simple one; If you don’t eat left over – don’t go to the trouble to keep them…so you can throw them out later. It adds to washing up, wasted time and a messy fridge.

    It is not rocket science – and it works.

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