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Schedule Small Sessions

Schedule Small Sessions

Our household is notorious for leaving To Do Lists unfinished. They build up from what were usually pretty manageable tasks into gargantuan behemoths that we dread. I’m not even talking about the big, potentially even fun to do items, I’m talking about boring little tasks like cleaning out that Junk Drawer in the kitchen. It probably doesn’t bug you enough to even “cost” you anguish during the day, but it’s still there and it builds up and it takes away from it being done and in the other column: Done.

Do you need a deadline to get anything accomplished? Give yourself one.

Since we humans seem to often need a schedule or deadline or regular rhythm of some kind to get anything accomplished, we decided to simply block out a bit of time for these otherwise unnamed to do items. For us, the time between dropping off the kids at school (around 8:00 AM) and starting work (around 9:00 AM) was the perfect downtime to get rolling on housework. My wife has classes M-W-F, so for starters, we’re only going to do two days a week (Tue and Thu) from 8 to 9. It’s important to note that we didn’t say it’s every single day for two hours, it’s just two days a week for a single hour. That way, it’s a huge increase from what it was (next to never) but far from a dreaded Spring Cleaning.

It’s scheduled, it’s small, it’s manageable.

This morning we were off to a banner start. It’s continually stunning (and a little odd how continually surprised we are) how much two people can get done in a single hour. We picked the most boring of tasks: cleaning out a chest of drawers, going through a pile of shoes, collecting pennies to bring to the change place. I can’t imagine more boredom. But we magically transformed the dull into the shiny by getting it done.

Just a single hour this morning and my whole day is starting off more productive. By taking it in small chunks, we’ll eventually chip away at the big picture. But we’re chipping away, we’re making progress.

Can the most mundane of tasks actually provide some satisfaction?

Can the most mundane of tasks actually provide some satisfaction?


  1. Susan

    Excellent! Did you ever hear of the FlyLady? Her premise was just do something for 15 minutes a day and it will get done (she started out helping people de-clutter and clean up their homes). Chances are, once you get started, you’ll want to continue (perhaps until the job is done).

    You and Saskia are the FlyTeam.

    Thanks for all the great blog posts, Bradley.

    • Bradley

      I have heard of her and Saskia really liked her. The 15-minutes a day is an excellent one. Then it doesn’t seem like a huge chore, but just a little thing, a little bit of Bite-Size Change which can often lead to Big Change. Even if it doesn’t, small change is better than no change.

      “Fly Team” — I like that. Some days, yes, other days I think we’re just … flies.

      Thank you SO MUCH for stopping by, Susan. Love to have you here.


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