Productivity Booster...

FlyLady suggests that you set a timer for 15 minutes and work at various tasks for that period of time, taking occasional breaks to do something fun for a period of time. The idea is that you can do anything for 15 minutes. The periodic break for something fun helps keep you from getting burned out and serves as a reward for doing the no-so-fun thing. I adapted this method to baking cookies today. The timer got set to 12 minutes for the cookies and then I worked at cleaning out the inboxes on my desk while cookies baked. The top inbox ("Act") needs to be weeded out, but the rest of them are either empty or as empty as they can be. I even threw out some of the stuff in the "To Read" box since it had been there for several months without being read. I do still have a stack of magazines from the past four months to read. (I am coming to the conclusion that I don't ever need to subscribe to magazines since I don't do a very good job of reading them with any regularity.)

Anyway, my house is once again clean, including the kitchen and bathrooms. This required just a bit of extra tidying up and a quick swipe of the toilet and bathtub. It's amazing how little time keeping a house can take if you put things away after you use them and if you take a little time each day to keep the high traffic areas in good shape. Folks at work talk about having to spend a whole day cleaning their houses. Granted some of these people have kids, but all of the kids are old enough to clean up their own rooms and to put things away after they are done using them. They're also old enough to have household duties, like vacuuming or emptying the dishwasher. I will never understand the belief that only the mom/wife can do the household chores in a house. I guess it gives her something to complain or be a victim about. That's just not for me. I'd rather think and say positive things about my family members and I certainly don't want to set myself up as a victim.

I weeded nearly all the flower beds on Saturday. I still need to figure out thinning the plantings in front of the house. I don't want to dig up and throw out gladiolus bulbs, but they're clearly planted too densely and they aren't producing well. It doesn't help that I caught the neighbor's lab wading through them one day a few weeks ago, but they still need work. Frankly I'm not all that fond of glads, but the thrifty frugal person in me doesn't like throwing things away. I'll give that some thought this week. I do think I will move nearly all of the calla lilies to the backyard. They aren't terribly visible planted among the irises. The irises might need a bit of dividing too. I know I'll have to dig out some of the daisies that self-seeded.

The yard is in good shape too. It doesn't take that much extra effort to whack the weeds and rake up grass clippings, but it does make a tremendous difference in appearances. While mowing this weekend, I have started to identify more low areas that need to be filled in. I wonder what half a load of topsoil would cost me. The ditch between my house and the neighbor's house needs to be re-graded. There's no reason for it to be steep like a canyon. Several other drainage routes are also in need of adjustment. They're far too steep to mow across. Beyond that, there are a couple dozen low or uneven spots that I bounce over with the mower. The bouncing around is really starting to bug me, particularly since it results in a very uneven mowing job.


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