How I Get Things Done

by Ragtimelil

I'm not a naturally organized person. I have to work at finishing things I've started and keeping the clutter from taking over.

Some days I just can’t seem to get anything done. Oh, I start things – a lot of things, but stop long before I finish them. Sometimes it’s running out of materials, such as an art or craft project. Sometimes I just can’t find what I need, like some home repair project. Sometimes I try to organize and get frustrated with no place to put things. Sometimes it’s trying to write an article and not having the photos to go with it. Photos are easy enough, but if the article is a “how to” I need to actually do the project to take the pictures. Then I'm back to no materials to finish the art or craft project.

Doing What I Can

I’ve found one thing that I have been able to do. I know cleaning house is sometimes a procrastination tactic when I can’t seem to do other things. Sometimes, though it actually gets me going. I can’t take on trying to clean everything, but if I break it down into manageable chunks I can do it. My strategy involves using a timer.

Housecleaning

House Cleaning

Online Alarm Clocks

I don’t have a timer right now so I use an online alarm clock.  My favorite online alarm clock, Online Video Clock, is one that starts a video when the time is up.  It’s rather nice having soothing music and a video clip come on rather than loud bells and whistles. You can set the timer in 5 minute intervals.

One I used for a long time was the Kukuklok. It’s simple to use but I didn’t find it loud enough for what I needed at the time and you can only set the snooze in 15 minute intervals. I needed 10 and had to reset it manually.

Another I’ve used that I like is the Naked Alarm Clock. No, there is no nudity here but the alarm clock is simple to use and is nice and loud. Sometimes I can’t find the right button to click though.

Timers

Here's some timers I would use if I had them
Ultrak Jumbo Countdown Timer

Jumbo Countdown Timer! Huge 1 ¼ inch LCD display countdown timer from 99 minutes, 59 seconds with memory and loud alarm. Hinged base allows tabletop or wall-mounted use.

$17.37  $16.89
Ultrak Count-Up/Down Timer

The Ultrak T-3 will count up or count down up to 10 hours. It has a large display with 3/4 inch digits. It features an easy to push 0-9 numerical keypad. A loud alarm sounds whe...

$20.95  $17.15

Today's Chore

I have a list of one thing to do each day for 15 days.  I do 20 minutes a day (not counting things I do every day like washing dishes and making the bed.) I start the list over again when I finish. and set it for 20 minutes, or even 10 minutes twice a day. It amazes me what I can get done in 10 minutes.Today’s project is my desk. This is embarrassing, but here’s what it looks like right now.

Messy 

Messy Desk

 

Desk Organizers

Here's a couple of organizers I would use
Rolodex Supplies Caddy (1746466)

Mesh Oval Pencil Cup holds more than pencils. Five divided compartments allow you to organize all your writing instruments. Two additional shallow compartments hold clips and ot...

$10.39  $2.51
Rubbermaid 12-Slot Organizer, 21W x 11 3/4""D x 16""H, Black (1738583)

Holds tabbed file folders, legal pads, boxes of office supplies and more.

$51.43  $50.92

Ten Minutes

And after 10 minutes it looks like this. Not perfect but an improvement after only half the time. Now I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I find it easier to complete other projects if I feel productive instead of a slouch. It's nice to have a place to set a cup of coffee.

cleaner desk

Good Clean Stuff

Swiffer Disposable Cleaning Dusters Refills, Unscented, 16-Count (Packaging May Vary)

Swiffer Dusters trap and lock dust and allergens with thousands of fluffy fibers. That's because each fluffy, flexible fiber features Dust Lock Adhesive that traps and locks dus...

Swiffer  / $9.97  $9.77
Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, Lemon and Lime Blossom, 80 Wet Wipe Containers, 3 Count, Total 240 Count

Lysol Disinfecting Wipes - Lemon and Lime Blossom Triple Banded Pack LYSOL Disinfecting Wipes Kills Cold and Flu Viruses LYSOL Disinfecting Wipes help stop the spread of germs a...

Lysol  / Only $9.99
Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, 36-Pack

Zwipes microfiber is a great new technology, with many applications that includes your automobile, boat, RV or motorcycle. Cleaning with microfiber products is fast and easy. It...

Zwipes  / $15.99  $13.58
Libman Wonder Mop

America's #1 best selling twist mop. Patented wringer removes more water, and floors dry extra fast. Microfiber gripstrips lift stubborn dirt. Machine washable mophead.

Libman CO  / Only $9.23

The Second Half

At some point I go back and finish another 10 minutes.

top of dog crate

The great thing about setting a timer is that I don’t get hung up with cleaning. I know that in 10 or 20 minutes I can get back to work and feel like I’ve accomplished something for the day.  I find I’m more productive after a quick cleaning session. I took some time off, guilt free, to do something mindless and come back refreshed and ready to work.

Or Maybe I'll Just Train My Dogs To Do It

Getting More Things Done

How To Get Things Done: Living Stress Free While Still Being Productive!

Are You looking for answers on how to get things done?....well, if you are then this is the book for you! In" How To get Things Done: Mastering The Simple Art Of Execution".. yo...

Find More Time: How to Get Things Done at Home, Organize Your Life, and Feel Great About It

You have a sink full of dishes to wash, three loads of laundry to do, seventeen bills to pay, thirty-six e-mails to answer, a big stack of novels on the nightstand you’d love to...

$13.99  $0.01
Updated: 08/20/2012, Ragtimelil
 
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Do You Have Any Tricks to Get Things Done?


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Ragtimelil on 08/03/2012

That's a great idea to take a break. I need to do that too.

dustytoes on 08/03/2012

I set the timer all day long too! I try to take at least a 10 minute break (from the computer) each hour and I go clean something or pick up the house. Timers are great, but sometimes I do ignore them. It always feels good to accomplish a task - large or small.

Ragtimelil on 07/19/2012

You are welcome. I find the list really helps too, otherwise I'd be cleaning the same space over and over. Some things I do twice a month, some 4 times, but I keep moving around with a different focus everyday. Today was surface clean. Tomorrow is kitchen drawers.

sheilamarie on 07/19/2012

My mother swears by the 20 minute routine! I have to remind myself about it so I don't drown in my own mess. The online alarm clocks will be very helpful for me. Thanks.

Ragtimelil on 07/18/2012

It really does make a difference. I get overwhelmed because I have a houseful of craft stuff in a 25 ft camper. There simply is no place to put it. But at 10-20 minutes a day I can clean one teeny space and it makes me feel better. Then I don't feel guilty for quitting because I know I'll move on to another space tomorrow. And I actually look forward to it because little by little, the whole space will be clean someday. (Glad to know I'm not the only one with a messy desk...ha)

BrendaReeves on 07/18/2012

Lil, You and I are two peas in a pod. My office is worse than yours. When I first got divorced and moved into an apartment 18 years ago, I decided I was going to keep a clean house. I would set an alarm for one hour. The goal was to beat the clock. I'd clean a two bath, two bedroom apartment in that time. It worked, but I gave it up when I moved into a house. Ten minutes sounds good to me.

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