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Recurring Tasks?

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  • Recurring Tasks?

    How do you all keep track of recurring tasks? As an example (I'm a homemaker, so most of my tasks are household maintenance), the laundry needs to be done every week.

    Do I schedule that on my calendar, because if I miss it, it's basically just missed until the next week?

    Do I write it on my next-action list, cross it off when it's done, and write it back onto the list every week? (That seems like a lot of wasted effort.)

    Do I create a separate next-action list of recurring tasks?

    Do I write it on the regular next-action list of the appropriate context and just leave it there? Mark it with a particular notation so I know it's recurring?

    Am I just supposed to remember that it needs to be done, because it is recurring?

    This is the only thing (up front, anyway) that I can't seem to figure out how to account for in my physical system.

  • #2
    Idea

    You could make yourself a weekly checklist of all recurring household tasks, make some copies, and every week go through and check off the tasks as you complete them. You might want to think long and hard before you "assign" each task to a specific day of the week, though. Sure enough, if you put "dust furniture" on Monday, Monday will roll around and you won't feel like doing it...that might be a psychic downer.

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    • #3
      Here's what I would suggest -

      On your project list - I'd say something like...

      Keep my house clean and in good order

      Then I'd make a checklist of all the recurring things that are involved in that endeavor

      Then, on my NA, I'd have something like - spend 30 minutes working through checklist

      I'd put that on my NA list as often as necessary - to remind me to do it - but I wouldn't list the chores individually.

      Once you're in a good habit, you probably don't need it as a project or NA at all - you don't put "brush teeth and wash face on there..."

      All that said - and my house is a mess - good thing it's on my someday/maybe list !

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      • #4
        Do all of the above....but not at the same time. Try different things and see what fits you best. I have tried all the things you mentioned and I ended up using a combination of these methods depending on the task. For example, I don't have "vacuum" on any list or calendar. I just do it when I think the floors look dirty. Same for the bathrooms, dusting, etc. If we are having company or a party, etc. I will make a note on my calendar the day before so I am reminded to leave myself enough time to do those things. Otherwise, who cares if I wait one more day to clean the bathrooms?

        Things that I DO have on my lists or on my calendar include reminders to backup computers and web databases...dog's heartworm...check batteries in smoke detectors...basically stuff that is important but not a "weekly" thing that will remind me by itself. Laundry will remind me by piling up. Dust will remind me by piling up...floors will get mopped when they look dirty enough...same for the bathrooms. I used to try to have "cleaning days" and schedule stuff, but now I just do it as needed which turns out to be less often than I was scheduling it. My rule is - if the task will do the reminding then I don't write it down. I think that's the "scuzz factor" theory. When something around the house becomes disorganized or dirty enough to feel "scuzzy" to me then I clean it. No need to write it down unless I just can't get to it and it's urgent.

        One other thing I did was delegate several things to my kids this summer. I created a chart for each of them with a list of tasks for them to check off every day. I then removed the tasks from my lists and I just remind them every morning to finish their tasks before they go out to play. The tasks are still on lists - just not MY lists!

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        • #5
          I do have my household tasks on lists (not exactly a list, but the 'HandyShopper' programme on my Palm). Daily, weekly, monthly, half year tasks as different 'Categories', as the prg. calls them.
          Advantage: I don't need 'cleaning days', or 'spring cleaning', since all the jobs get evenly spread out and with just a little work each day the household is spotless at any given day, and no rare but regular task is forgotten.

          Who cares if I don't do all of the 'daily tasks' literally every day, or if I do one or another of the 'half year' tasks not every 6 but every 7 or 8 months...
          but it's nice to know what's due soon.
          No, personally I don't want to be remined to clean the floors by dirty floors. If I see a 'before/after'-effect of cleaning, it was too late

          Jochen

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 1drummergirl View Post
            One other thing I did was delegate several things to my kids this summer. I created a chart for each of them with a list of tasks for them to check off every day. I then removed the tasks from my lists and I just remind them every morning to finish their tasks before they go out to play. The tasks are still on lists - just not MY lists!
            My mom was like this to her kids. I retrospect: very good move. What belongs on your list, though? Telling your kids regularly how proud you are of them doing the tasks (if they do them). IMHO, offcourse.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jochen View Post
              No, personally I don't want to be remined to clean the floors by dirty floors. If I see a 'before/after'-effect of cleaning, it was too late

              Jochen
              That really depends on the individual level of comfort. I am a total neat freak which means my definition of "dirty" is really considered to be very clean for most people. Even with the irregularity of the tasks, I am never embarrassed to have anyone drop by unannounced. I realize this method doesn't work for everyone.

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              • #8
                Unfortunately for me, my "dirt threshold" is higher than hubby's.

                Also unfortunately, my children aren't old enough yet to do most of the work - just to make the messes. (They're 4 - and she does help some - and 2 weeks.)

                So, for now, I need it written somewhere. I think I will try a separate list first.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by A2JC4life View Post
                  Unfortunately for me, my "dirt threshold" is higher than hubby's.
                  Maybe the NAs should be on hubby's list, rather than yours, then?

                  Katherine

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kewms View Post
                    Maybe the NAs should be on hubby's list, rather than yours, then?

                    Katherine
                    I don't mind doing the work, so that's not an issue. I just can't use the work itself as a visual reminder because it's already past dirty, in hubby's opinion, before I notice it. So I definitely need a written reminder somewhere.

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                    • #11
                      I hate housework, and used to ignore it as far as possible. (I do pay someone to come one a week to do a lot of the basic cleaning). I found it helped to have a check list of all the items that I had to do myself, even having each room in the house as a single item on the list e.g. 1) tidy front room 2) tidy study 3) machine washing 4) hand washing. They were llisted in a column, then beside that was a column for each week, and I ticked the stuff off as I did it, and could see which I hadn't done that week - very satisfying as the ticks built up!

                      Now I've consolidated things, so at the beginning of the weekend I know I have to move through the house from front to back, tidying each room as I go. I hardly ever do it all at once, but just keep a note of where I stop in order to continue later. My cue to do the washing is arriving in the utility room where the washing machine is. If there's a need to do some separate handwashing, I write it on the blackboard in the kitchen, which is the common family list for tasks that need to be done that weekend.

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