There Is a Time Wrinkle in My Backyard....

That's the only explanation I can find. I get home and it's about 5pm. By the time I change clothes and get outside, it's between 5:30 and 5:45. I mow the lawn, pick berries, weed a bit, prune a bit, water a bit, and tidy things up. WHAM! It's 8:45 pm and time for me to get things put together for work tomorrow! Where DOES the time go?!?!? Granted, I did spend a bit extra time indoors before starting the mowing today, but I still "lost" a couple hours in there.

Despite having another heat advisory today, it didn't feel nearly as hot as it did the past three days. If it doesn't rain tomorrow, I'll have another go at lopping off my fingertip weeding the blackberries tomorrow night. I am taking some blackberries to work for the building receptionist, who always has a cheery wave and hello for me in the morning. Later this summer I'll take her tomatoes too.

The Key to Evening Productivity
This really isn't a surprise to me or at least it shouldn't be. The key to getting things done at home after work is to STAY THE HECK OUT OF THE COMFY CHAIR. Or to at least set a timer so that I have to get out of the chair at the appointed time. Otherwise I spend the entire evening in the chair and the things I need to do don't get done. Like tidying up the house, cooking dinner, washing dishes, doing laundry, weeding the garden/flowers, writing letters (yes, I really still do the kind with pen, paper and stamps), etc. You know, those normal activities of daily living that we'd probaby hire staff to take care of if we had the funds to do so.

If I park my bahookie in the chair, that stuff gets put off. And usually so do my knitting and reading. The detritus of life then piles up a bit, which I can ignore for a while. Eventually it starts to wear on me. If I let it go long enough, having things get messy and disorganized makes me agitated, depressed and crabby, which, in turn, leaves me less likely to take care of the messy disorganization. You can imagine how much fun things get at that point.

I have learned over the years that if I do a little bit every day, I can keep on top of things without having to resort to marathon clean up sessions. The one exception is the kitchen. I tend to do a big clean-up in there every weekend, mostly because I do a big cooking mess in there every weekend and usually wind up filling the dishwasher. The rest of the housekeeping is 5-10 minutes a day, with up to an hour set aside on Wednesday for the "big" stuff like taking out the garbage, dusting, throwing out the "stuff to be read later" pile of mail and vacuuming the whole house. Bathrooms are scrubbed on the weekend as I use them.

So, the key for me is to limit my Comfy Chair time immediately after I get home. I allow myself up to 30 minutes to check my e-mail (usually the first time I check my personal e-mail since the previous day) and to either eat a quick dinner or to have a snack. Then it's time to change my clothes and get on with whatever tasks need to be done. Thinking about this as I write....I think I should change my clothes immediately when I get home, then get my snack and e-mail. That might leave me more motivated to get out of the chair.

Weekends are a bad Comfy Chair time. Since I often am getting grubby in the garden or yard, I tend to not take a shower until after I'm done with the dirty work. I still wake up by 6am every morning even without an alarm set, but I shuffle out to the living room while the coffee brews and the oatmeal cooks. And suddenly it's 9am, then 11am, and I'm still in the Comfy Chair in my pajamas instead of outside in the yard digging things up before the blazing heat returns. This is a problem. I shall have to work on the timer system for weekend mornings too. I can always surf the internet and read listserv messages when it's too hot to be outdoors. I hate wasting good outdoor time. Besides, it's pretty when the dew bejewels the spiderwebs that were built while I slept.


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