Insurmountable Tasks

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For the past week I have been tripping over a sleeping mat on Mouse’s bedroom floor. It would probably take less than three minutes to put it away, but I never seem to have three minutes when I’m in her room!

The boys took their reading corner apart and used the pillows for something else and now I have to wade through pillows on my way to Jack’s crib. Why haven’t I told them to put the reading corner back together and then followed up to see that they had?

Every time I walk into my room I think ” I should take a couple of minutes and tidy”. Been thinking that for two weeks now…

What’s going on?

I’ve had some busy weeks lately but mostly I’ve gotten into “insurmountable tasks” mindset again.


Rationally I know that these things will make me feel calmer and less chaotic if I do them. And they will only take a few minutes, but they look so large I can’t bear to start.

Sound familiar?

I need to employ the one trick that works: the timer on my phone.

Time to set it and work at these huge tasks for 20 minutes. Amazing how “It will take me hours to clean the bedrooms” becomes obviously untrue when the timer is quietly counting down and I refuse to become distracted.

In fact a good bit of the time 20 minutes is more time than I need to deal with the major issue that’s been looming. I know this. I’ve seen the evidence countless times. But I can’t remember it.

And because I can’t remember it there are:

  • four loads of laundry waiting to be folded (30 minutes work tops)
  • All three bedrooms need to have their floors cleared (no more than 20 minutes apiece and probably only 10)
  • The kitchen counters need to be cleared and wiped- have needed that for several days (again no more than a 20 minute job)
  • I need to vacuum. Actually one of the children will happily do that, they love to vacuum I just need to take 10 minutes to supervise
  • Are you getting the idea? Nothing hard- most of it actually routine, but when a busy couple of weeks throws off my routine it’s all impossibly, insurmountable tasks.

    Does that happen to you?

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    1 Response to Insurmountable Tasks

    1. Fire Rose says:

      I know that feeling well. Something my mother told me is write down just 3 chores each day. Don’t prioritize or angst about which ones you’re planning on doing, just write down 3 each day and do them as quickly as possible. I find once I just get started I end up doing more than I planned on, but am not overwhelmed by the planning.

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