Episode 006: Concepts that Help Daily Tasks
Sometimes routine tasks can feel overwhelming or like you just don’t want to do them. Diana shares how she approaches day-to-day tasks that may not be her favorite with concepts she’s learned in business courses. Using them in her home management, motherhood, and overall daily planning, she's been able to make those mundane tasks feel a little bit easier.
In this episode, Diana discusses some business concepts that she’s applied to her home and personal life that helped make her daily tasks feel a little easier.
We’ll also discuss:
- What is a time container, and how does it relate to your home and personal life
- How to challenge yourself to complete tasks
- Keeping small promises to yourself in one area will overflow into others
What can you expect from this podcast and future episodes?
- 15-20 minute episodes to help you tackle your to-do list
- How to declutter in an effective and efficient way
- Guest interviews
- Deep dives on specific topics
Find Diana Rene on social media:
Episode 006: Concepts that Help Daily Tasks
[00:00:00] Diana Rene
Hi, and welcome to The Decluttered Mom Podcast. Today, we are gonna talk about a couple of concepts that have really transformed how I approach and handle some day-to-day tasks that maybe are not my favorite. These concepts I actually learned through business courses that I've taken over the last couple of years for this business, but I have been able to use them in business, but I've also been able to use them in my home management, in my motherhood, in my planning, and scheduling and productivity and all of the above. So I wanted to share these with you today in hopes that maybe you can take one concept or a couple of them and apply them into your home and into your life to make some of your tasks feel a little bit easier too.
You're listening to The Decluttered Mom Podcast. A podcast built specifically for busy moms by a busy mom. I'm your host, Diana Renee, and in 2017, I had my second daughter, and it felt like I was literally drowning in my home. Okay, not literally. But I felt like I couldn't breathe with all of the stuff surrounding me. Over the next ten months, I got rid of approximately 70% of our household belongings, and I have never looked back. I kind of feel like I hacked the mom system, and I'm here to share all the tips, tricks, and encouragement. Let's listen to today's show.
So the first one I wanna talk about is called Parkinson's law, and the fancy actual concept is work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. So that kind of sounds confusing, but basically, what it means is that any task that we take is going to either expand or decrease in time, depending on the time that we give it.
Right. So we are always working in different time containers. Sometimes those time containers are given to us. And other times, these time containers are things that we set. Okay. So like an example of something that a time container that's given to us is, you work at an office job, and you have to be there from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM because those are your work hours.
So that is a time container that's given to you. The time container that we set ourselves is that we have to do a task in our home, and we think it's probably gonna take us 30 to 40 minutes. And so that's the time container that we give it. Oftentimes though, we really overestimate the time that it should take to complete a task. Because often when we look at something like, let's say the dishes, dishes is gonna be our example for this episode. Okay. So if we look at the dishes and we know that we have to complete the dishes, we have to unload the dishwasher, we have to load the dishwasher. Maybe we have to do some hand wash, and we really want to do this before we go to bed, because we know that if we go to bed with the dishes done and the countertop cleared and, and the floors are swept in the kitchen, that when we come down the stairs in the morning to a clean kitchen where we don't have tasks waiting for us, when we wake up, we're gonna start out our day better. Right? We're gonna start out in a better mood.
We're going to start out feeling like we're not already behind. We're going to feel more productive almost instantly. But if we backtrack to the night before. The actual doing part, doing it part, is what's hard, right? Like the actual, like walking into the kitchen in the evening when we're exhausted and maybe we didn't sleep very well the night before because the baby kept us up or somebody's sick or work was really hard today. Or you got in a fight with your partner or like whatever, or maybe all of the above. We walk into the kitchen at night, and that's the last thing we want to do. Even though we know it's going to set us up for a great morning, and a great day, we don't want to actually take that step. And a big part of that is because we have made it to be a much bigger task in our minds than it is.
So the first step with this is I want you to, and this is gonna be for any task in your home that feels overwhelming. And these are tasks that are gonna be like repetitive things. So like laundry or dishes or, um, Just anything that you have to do on a semi-consistent basis that you feel like takes a long time, or you just don't like doing it.
I want you to try this. I want you to time yourself doing the task and get a good baseline for it because most of the time, it's gonna take us a lot less time than we think it's going to take. So if we set aside 10 minutes to do the dishes to unload and load the dishwasher, and then we actually time ourselves doing it, it's almost always going to be shorter.
Um, most of the time, like when I have time myself in the past has taken like three minutes to unload the dishwasher. And I'm like, what? Like, it feels like it takes forever because it's not a task that I enjoy. Although I don't have a kitchen right now, for those of you who don't know, we had a kitchen water leak the first week of April.
It is now mid-June, and we had to have half of our kitchen just ripped out by the restoration company the night that we discovered the leak, and they had to do this whole process. So like our sink, half the countertops, half the cabinets are, and half the floor in our kitchen. Is gone. We do not have a functional kitchen. So the idea of doing like running the dishes right now feels really exciting to me because I haven't had a kitchen for several months, and I don't know when we will have a kitchen, but that's besides the point I normally do not like doing the dishes.
So this is a good example. So we are going to time ourselves to see how long it's actually taking us because that's step number one. It's gonna give us a good idea of, oh, this doesn't actually have to take that long and it doesn't have to be this really big, uh, intense task that I avoid. Then we are going to find a way to make that happen consistently. Because again, if we give ourselves five minutes to do this task, then it's probably going to take five minutes to complete the task. But if we give ourselves 25 minutes to complete that same task, it's probably going to take 25 minutes to complete that task because our brain, our mind works with Parkinson's Law, and it works to fill and expand the time that we have given the task to do it. Okay. I know it sounds kind of crazy and woo-woo. But I promise this, this actually happens.
So once we have figured out how long it's going to take, then we are going to take something that we enjoy, and we are going to stack it with this task. So for the example of the dishes, we could take a podcast that we really enjoy that comes out every week, maybe The Decluttered Mom, hint, hint, just kidding. Um, or an audible book that we really are enjoying listening to, or maybe it's just music that we can't really listen to with little ears around during the day, and so we wanna listen to it. Um, so we pick something like that that we really enjoy. And then we pair it with this task that we don't necessarily enjoy, and it's going to help us condense that time period. Okay. So that's the first thing we're going to do.
And then the second thing we're going to do is we're going to challenge ourselves. So if we're sticking with this example and we have to unload the dishwasher and we, it, we feel like it just takes forever. Like it's just a task that feels all-consuming every day, then we're gonna time ourselves. And so maybe it took four minutes to do it. Well, here's the thing, the average, like song these days, is three and a half to four and a half minutes.
So pick a song that you love, like one of your favorite songs that's upbeat that makes you want to dance. That just kind of like gets you moving and gets your energy going and challenge yourself to complete the task before the song ends. If we like add in some kind of element of like playful, fun, energy, then we are more likely to continue to complete that task and we're going to more likely complete it in shorter time periods.
So again, this is a really simple concept. It kind of sounds silly, but it is something that has really transformed, like some of the menial tasks that I just feel like have to be done in the home, but they can just be made into a quicker, more fun version of the tasks that I hated and avoided.
The other concept is not as fun. And this is the concept of keeping your word to yourself and staying in integrity with yourself. Because I think as moms, we are so like overworked, overburdened. We have so much on our plate, and we are expected to be so many things to so many people that maybe like former generations didn't experience as much, or maybe just not as in their face.
And so it can be really easy to let yourself down because you don't wanna let anybody else around you down. So you are the first one to let yourself down. And what that might look like is you say you're going to do something for yourself, and you don't do it. And then it's just kind of is like, well, yeah, that that's not great, but you know, it is what it is.
Like I had to do this and this and this for this person and that person and this person, like I didn't have any more time to keep that commitment to myself. And what I think has been really, really helpful for me is to build that integrity back with myself because. I constantly let myself down. And then I wondered why I couldn't follow through when I would set new challenges or new goals for myself.
So what this looked like for me, when I first started practicing this was picking something that was really, really, really small, um, something that maybe I wasn't already doing, but that like, I felt like I could do and keep my word. Okay. So, the very first thing I did with this was I promised myself, this is gonna sound crazy, I promised myself I would drink 16 ounces of water a day. Like that's not a lot of water, right? Like most people, I don't know if you could survive on 16 ounces of water, but I was so used to drinking coffee and Dr. Pepper and more coffee, and I just wasn't drinking water. And so I was really, and I would tell myself, okay, I'm gonna drink a gallon of water a day.
And I would like see people on Instagram and TikTok with their like cool gallon-sized water bottles. I even bought a gallon-sized water bottle. And like, it just sat there full because it was so overwhelming to me. And so I would tell myself every day I would wake up, and I'd say, Diana, you are gonna drink a gallon of water today because that's what you need to do.
And then I would go to bed at night, pouring the water out because I'm like, well, I didn't do it. And I didn't keep that word to myself. And it like consistently eroded at that like self-confidence because I was not able to like, keep a simple thing, like that. This promise to myself, I couldn't keep it. So I started with something small, 16 ounces like that's a small, much small, that's a much, much smaller water bottle, or it's like two glasses of water a day.
Um, and I was able to do it, and it's, and I woke up in the morning and say, okay, I, I will drink 16 ounces of water today, and at most of the time, by the end of the day, I drank 65 ounces of water because I set that small thing for myself and I kept my promise. And every time I kept that promise to myself, I was able to boost that confidence, the teeniest teenies teenies tiniest bit.
And it just over time, it like snowballs and you feel more and more confident. And it builds into other areas of your life. So now there are bigger things that I do that I promise myself I will do. And I hold that promise no matter what because I have learned the momentum that can build in all areas of my life when I'm able to keep my promise in one small area.
So, like I said, these are just two smaller things that have really helped me, um, within my own life, within my own motherhood, and within my home management. Um, just to make things a little bit easier because isn't that the goal like, we want to make things a little bit easier on ourselves in what feels like really hard times.
And so I hope this was helpful for you. If this was helpful for you, I would love it if you could share this with a friend or post it on your Instagram, or even just send me a DM. I would love to hear it from you directly. Thanks for hanging out with me today.
Thanks for hanging out and listening to The Decluttered Mom Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean the world if you could write a review or share this episode with a friend or your Instagram stories, and if you're on Instagram, be sure to follow me at the dot decluttered dot mom and send me a DM to say hi.
I'd love to hear what you thought about today's episode. I hope you'll come back next week and hang out with us again.