Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Todays Tasks

As I got ready to start my day, I went to grab my notebook to make one of my many "To Do" lists.  I decided it was time to step it up & get a little more organized with this.  So I made a fun printable that will make it easier for me each day. I just printed it off on card stock, and laminated it with my "Purple Cows" laminator.
*It was only $20 at Costco & it comes with 100 laminator sheets- I love it!

No...I really hadn't "started my day" yet when I made this.
Rice Krispies anyone???

I use a WET erase marker to write my lists out (wet erase will not smear when you touch them). I usually keep the first couple of things the same for each day, so when I'm ready to start my new list I'll just leave the top few items there, erasing the check mark for the top few and the rest of the list. (*FYI after the wet erase marker sits for weeks it can sometimes be stubborn to get off, a "magic eraser" or rubbing alcohol takes it right off). 
I added magnet strips on the back so it can go on the fridge when I'm done.
 As soon as my kids are all out the door to school I usually start my list the same... Entry/Living Room/Hall - That way if someone comes to my door at least  it looks like things are clean.

My best friend when doing any type of cleaning, is my TIMER! I have timers in every room of my house, and also use the timer on my phone many times a day.  (*Dollar Tree is great for timers that just sit on the counter, I have one that I got at Wal-Mart that was about $5 that has a clip that I keep with me while I'm cleaning). 

You will notice on my "Today's tasks" list there is a spot for minutes. I never stay in one room more than 15 minutes at a time and usually keep it to 5 or 10 (some rooms require 2 or 3 10 minute sessions, but never all at once). I find that if I know I only have 5 minutes to complete a task, I can really move & stay on task much better. On the other hand, if I just have a list of things to clean, it can take all day. 
I don't know about you, but this poem seems to describe my day if I don't have a list
AND a timer keeping me on task. 

"If You Give Mom a Muffin"
If you give a mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
Her three-year-old will spill the coffee.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she'll find dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her
she has to plan for supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook
("101 Things To Do With a Pound of Hamburger").
The cookbook is setting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The checkbook is in her purse
that is being dumped out by her two-year-old.
She'll smell something funny.
She'll change the two-year-old's diaper.
While she is changing the diaper, the phone will ring.
Her five-year-old will answer and hang up.
She'll remember she wants to phone a friend for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her
that she was going to have a cup.
And chances are...If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it. 
author Beth Brubaker
I found the poem here 
Minus the coffee, this describes many of my days if I'm not using a list and timer.      
***I will be posting a couple different printable versions of this poem for
 Mother's Day next week!
Another reason I REALLY like having a list is when things happen like they did today.  I was in the middle of my list when I got a phone call from my daughter at school.  The conversation went something like this.  "Ummm mom?"  says child "Yep!" I say "Ummm I forgot my glasses, and......I don't know where I left them."  You've all been there right?!  So....I now go searching the house to find the glasses, throw a pair of jeans on (cuz if I showed up to school in what I clean the house in, she'd rather be blind for the day), and hair into a pony (cuz I hadn't made it to hair and make-up yet - note to self, you may want to raise that a little higher on the list).  And off I went to deliver the glasses to the school. 
Because of my list, as soon as I got back home I knew right where I was when she called and jumped right back in.  If I didn't have a list going, chances are I would have sat down to check e-mail, instagram, or just pin for a bit (and we all know how long "just 5 minutes" ends up  taking once you get on the computer).
I love lists & get SO much more done when I follow one.  So I'm sharing my
 Today's Tasks list with you.

So....get yourself a timer, and see how much you can get done 5 minutes at a time!

And....If you need the reminder like I do sometimes, add play with my kids to that list.  If needs be, set the timer and let them choose how they spend 20 min of undivided mom'll probably be as surprised as I have been.
If you try it out, I'd love to hear how it worked for you!


  1. Shut. It. I NEED that laminator!!! How long ago did you get it? I'm so excited for your blog because I've always wanted you to write a book and this is as close as I'm gonna get :) Love ya!

    1. Nat, I got mine a few months ago, but I just saw them there last week. They really are great. Only problem is, Tyson thinks he needs to laminate every paper he wants to save from school. Hope I can come anywhere close on my blog as you guys have on your. Thx for all your help!

  2. OK - I have got to start doing this! Why in the world have you not bought me a timer before??? You are amazing and I agree with Nat - you DO need to write a book - but this is a great start. Do you think there is any hope for me? (Remember this is a public blog :) I 'm so excited to follow you. How in the world did my sis and I get such amazing daughters - love YOU!

  3. Love it Lisa! I need to start wearing my watch works great for time-outs so there is no reason why it wouldn't work for my new turquoise "task list". :)