Up to my eyes in to-do lists, I was not sure if I’d ever get organized enough to do this writing thing effectively. The paper piles on my desk seemed to grow, and each day ended without writing a word. (Somehow I found time to read and watch videos about time management though…) I started to wonder if I’d ever write again.
Then I had a chat with my author friend. She has published 13 or more books. She releases a new one every year, she homeschools, operates a home business with her husband, and does all the mom and wife stuff. It boggles my mind. So, while our children played, I asked her the same question I always ask her, “How do you get it all done?!”
Want to know her secret? Not folding laundry. Or making the bed. Or other unnecessary, avoidable tasks that eat time for little payoff. “They each just take a few minutes, but it adds up.”
This was a time management tactic I had not heard of.
Intrigued, I decided to try it for a week and see if it helped me gain time in my day. Here are my findings.
Chaos Experiment Findings:
Happiness: I felt some degree of freedom from the dull task of laundry folding.
Frustration: Piles of crumpled clothing became huge towers on dressers and overflowed to chairs. Pile migration became an issue as the bed and chairs needed to be used. Piles were transported back and forth repeatedly throughout the week.
Regret: When my husband and I had to rummage through piles like wildlife just to dress ourselves every day, I definitely felt the pang of regret.
Time Cost Ratio: Time saved by not folding clothes was offset by the time cost of pile migration and the daily clothing scrimmage.
Chaos Experiment Conclusions:
I still think my friend was on to something. John C. Maxwell suggests to “distinguish between what you have to do and what can be delegated to someone else.” And, in the spirit of “planned neglect”, he adds, “Before putting off until tomorrow something you can do today, study it clearly. Maybe you can postpone it indefinitely.” I agree – I just chose the wrong thing to avoid.
It is not freeing or motivating to me to avoid folding laundry. Washing walls and ceilings though, I could postpone indefinitely I think…
At the week’s end, we cleaned up the house. I found the floor in my bedroom, and helped the kids find their floors too. It was refreshing to see the carpet again, it gave me new hope for the future. (Boy, that sounds so cheesy I feel like I should offer you some crackers) Ah well... it's true. With all the clothing neatly hung in the closet, I'm ready to face another week.