Chore Lottery

Got a bunch of periodic cleaning tasks that you're not so good about getting to? Write them on slips of paper, drop them in a jar and then make a routine of regularly drawing a chore to do right now. Put the done one's under the jar until every one has been done, then put them all back in the jar.

Some ideas for your slips:
– clean the kitchen sink
– cobweb & dustbunny patrol
– sweep the porch/sidewalk in front/deck/stairs
– scrub the toilet
– make the table pretty (clear it, shake or replace the tablecloth, put on a centerpiece)
– shine shoes
– clean the stove top & oven
– make the place guest-ready
– purge a shopping bag of papers/catalogs/etc.
– gather together all the things that need to be given/returned to someone else
– safety drill (check smoke alarm, practice evacuation, check flashlight batteries, freshen emergency water, etc.)

Productive Sunday

Decide on 5 things you want to accomplish today. Be realistic, based on time & energy available, but do make progress on things that have been waiting a while. If you can do something that makes the week ahead much easier, definitely get that in there too.

Mine are:

1. Finish adding categories to all Discardian posts.

2. Finish presentation for tomorrow.

3. Do laundry.

4. Write at least the next few Discardian posts.

5. Dust and sweep apartment.

Bag 10: Past Year’s Re-Giftables

Okay, here we go again. Time to lose the guilt and abandon sentiment.

Take a big shopping bag and go around the house filling it up with stuff you don't actually like or have moved on from liking.

Never mind that it was a gift. It's the thought that counts, so keep that.

Note: handmade stuff that the giver gave you within the last couple years and which you know they'd be horrified if they found you'd given it away or sold it should probably be given back to the maker. It's a tough call, but if the "it just doesn't fit me/my home" conversation is going to be less painful for them than the discovery that you tossed the giant portrait of your face they laboriously made out of your favorite flavors of jelly beans, then fess up that you value them and their kindness and their friendship, but just don't have a place for the gift anymore.

Take the plunge and purge the stuff that makes you sigh with resignation when you look at it. Just think how nice it will be to never have to see it again!

Don’t get swamped on the way back into the swim

The first day back at work can be daunting, but you can get through it without going nuts.

If possible, start just a little early and take a quick pass through your incoming email, papers, voicemails.

Remember the Getting Things Done principles: you'll be less harried if you have a clear head and a good picture of what's on your list. First collect all the incoming stuff and process it quickly – less than 2 minutes on each thing – to delete or file that which requires no action on your part, note upcoming commitments on your calendar, delegate that which needs to go to someone else first, and otherwise identify things that need more of your time.

Prioritize those things – ideally by sorting/labeling as you've gone through them processing & organizing – and then just start plugging through them.

Sudden stuff will come up. If it really isn't higher priority than other things in your queue, then just prioritize it and do it at the appropriate time, giving whoever is bringing it to you a realistic prediction of when you'll get to it (and if needed an understanding of the stuff that has to get cleared from your plate beforehand).

Chug on through. Maybe you won't get very far down the list, but you'll know what's going on and be working on the right things first instead of just the noisiest or most fun.