Thursday, January 19, 2017

One of the random mental things I do sometimes is consider what things I really ought to do every day. It's one of the ways I grapple with feeling overwhelmed--I think, okay, leaving aside all else and ignoring what will happen on auto-pilot, what should happen every day. Here's my list:

1. Dirty laundry consolidated, washed if there's enough for a load, and put away.
2. Kitchen cleaned.
3. Work email answered.
4. A few specific work tasks that I won't list.
5. Litter boxes clean.
6. Exercise of some sort.
7. Pick up the living room and kitchen areas.
8. Bed made.
9. Plan and cook dinner (with planning done at some point before, say, 5 PM).

Of these, I tend to get the kitchen and litter clean most days, I make my bed before I get into it at night, and I always get through at least some portion of work email (though it's been a while since I got through it all in one day). I plan and cook dinner more often than not (but go through bad streaks), and I rarely stay that on top of laundry, though I wish. Exercise is another thing that happens in streaks of good and bad, and I tend to be consistent within a streak (I know if I get started, I can stick with it for a while, but I get into ruts). I tend to pick up the living room unless work is really busy/overwhelming or I have to run a lot of errands.

Frankly, I am better at this sort of every day thing than I am at projects, which is a result of having a pretty standard ADD brain that likes everything broken down into manageable chunks (break the projects into chunks, yes, I know, but projects are finite and, er, let's not even get into this digression today). This is probably why I think about things this way. In my ideal world, I'd add these things to my list:

10. Read something challenging for 30 minutes a day.
11. Write for 30 minutes a day.
12. Clean the house/work on house projects for 30 minutes beyond the basics in the first list.

My actual job obviously plays into this, but we're talking ideal world, and work projects tend to be a different beast than other parts of life, with external, other people focused motivation that works differently than whatever drives all the rest.

I have a REALLY hard time with those last three things (10-12), and in the long term I'd want to spend more time than that on the first two. Once in a while, I'll take a shot at adding them in to my life, but it always kind of peters out, and I know that it's because that stuff is based almost purely on internal motivation. Everything on that first list has strong external motivation for me. Numbers 10 and 11 are about me and my own personal development, and number 12 is about a larger kind of satisfaction with my own house (and seeking a sort of smooth running that I feel we lack). Those things are harder to wrap myself around, and they always have been, but oh they lurk.

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