May 13, 2006

Doing the Deed

Filed under: productivity — Brian @ 7:14 am

We’ve been a bit distracted around here, as you may have surmised. So lots of things have been informally put on hold. We were starting to feel the pressure of those things we knew we weren’t doing, but didn’t know exactly what they were.

Time to make a list.

Thursday night, Jennifer and I sat down at the kitchen table – she with her notepads and I with my index cards – and compared our lists. She took a few things from my list, and I took a few from hers.

Benefit: now we each know what the other plans to do in the near-term, and we’ve redistributed a few things to a more sensible owner for the task type.

Benefit: now we know what we’re doing soon. AND what we’re *not* doing soon. So the choices of what to do at any time are more informed, and will lead towards where we want to be.

Benefit: it put us both in the mood on Friday night after the house was quiet and the kids were in bed. We put on some mood music and spent the evening in the room we share as husband and wife. With all the stuff out of our heads on onto lists, we could focus on our mutual needs and desires the whole night long. Items that got in our way were strewn about the floor, but we’d take care of those later – when the more pressing needs were taken care of.

By the time we were done, the desk had been cleared, and … all of the papers were filed where they needed to go, old magazines were tossed, to-do items were recorded where they need to be. The office is usable again! It’s clean!

So often we try to clean it separately, which (a) annoys the person doing the cleaning because the other person isn’t doing it too and (b) annoys the person not cleaning because he knows he should be in there doing it too and (c) fails to take hold because – at best – half of the room is clean, and half is still cluttered. And clutter spreads like any other infestation.

We are digging ourselves out of the backlog, and it feels so good!


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