If you find chores piling up and you can’t seem to make headway on them, try this simple trick: do one thing every day.
Here’s how this little trick works and how it can change your life.
Chimney Sweeping Pirates?
There never seems to be a shortage of things to do. As soon as you set aside a weekend to make a dent in the never-ending stream of detritus and debris that clutter the house and turn order into chaos, more seems to appear out of nowhere. On the plus side, it gives you a chance to use the phrase detritus and debris.
Despite the fun of feeling like some Victorian chimney sweep, it can be overwhelming, something I know all too well, gov’na.
Nope. Nope. Not a chimney sweep. That’s too cockney. “Detritus and debris” is too high-brow. An educated pirate maybe? Hmm…
eBay*, Dust, and Bathroom Stains
Anyway, things around here were piling up. I had a ton of stuff that needed to be put on eBay, furniture that had been collecting dust from before it was even assembled (I mean, seriously… is dust magnetic or something?), and some calcified rings in the sink from a drain design that never really lets all the water out.
Everything was piling up and it just felt overwhelming, making me feel like a slacker, which begs the question: does a slacker ever feel overwhelmed? Is it because they have more slacking than they have time for?
But more to the point. How do I get all this stuff done?
I finally came across a simple, yet amazingly effective plan: do one thing daily. Surprisingly the idea came from a bunch of zombies.
If you haven’t visited Zombie Goals, you’re missing out. It’s all about getting things done in a way that makes it so easy a zombie could do it. (Full disclaimer, I might have an undead alter ego that does a lot of the talking over there. Sometimes it’s hard to remember who’s the real me).
Anyway, a recent article outlining the core of the Zombie Goals philosophy broke down the zombie secret into one simple approach: easy streaking fun.
The entire post is a must read but the gist is this: make things so easy you can’t help but do them, create streaks of action by doing it every day, and make it fun.
I realized that what I needed to do was take all these secondary chores and do one of thing every day following these simple steps.
Here’s what happened.
Pictures, Cleanliness, and Crisp, White, Porcelain
The first thing I did was create a task to do one thing every day by selecting a chore that needs to be done at the time I’m ready to do the task. Of course there are always tons to choose from. I simply decide what I’m going to do and set a timer for 5 minutes. That’s it. It’s super easy and once the timer is started, it’s easy to do.
Since I began I’ve written several auction listings and taken photos for them. I’ve completely refreshed the living room with dusting, cleaning under the couches, sweeping, mopping, straightening, and more. I’ve fixed some furniture, created some furniture additions of my own, and scrubbed the dickens out of the sink.
(Dickens! That’s who would have said detritus and debris. I mean not Oliver Twist or anything, but maybe a more educated schoolmarm? What the heck is a schoolmarm anyway? Whew! This whole “do one thing every day” can really take you down the rabbit hole.)
In short, I’ve completed a lot of loose tasks, simply by setting a 5 minute timer each day. I think It’s something everyone can benefit from.
The Value in Doing One Thing Every Day
It’s worth pointing out here that this is a methodology for getting secondary things done – the things that no one wants to do because we’re worn out from our real work… like writing posts and looking up “schoolmarm”.
If you want to get these secondary tasks done, try the “Do One Thing Every Day” approach to feel like you’re making progress. Here’s why:
- It’s Easy To Do: Just set a 5-minute timer and go. When it stops, you’re done.
- 30 Tasks Complete: Finish 30 tasks a month! (Well, most months. Thanks, February!)
- Endorphins: Enjoy the feeling of all the accomplishment each and every day.
Give it a try. I think you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel about yourself and the things around you. It just takes 5 minutes a day to make your world that much brighter.
*Here’s the important question for the day: do you capitalize eBay when it’s a heading? The “e” is supposed to be small, but the important words in a heading, particularly the first one should be capitalized. But then it would be EBay… so… then should it be Ebay?
The mind reels at the grammatical implications.
Don’t look at me like that. My girlfriend is the one who’s crazy.