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  • maintenance items

    I'm re-vamping my GTD system. I've been mostly digital and find that I STILL end up using paper lists, so I'm starting with paper lists and we'll see if I end up wanting to move the higher levels back to something digital.

    The types of things that always seems to gum up the works of my system are household maintenance (and cleaning) type things. When working digitally, I tried having things repeat upon completion, I tried having them repeat every X number of days. They always overwhelmed me and caused me to bury my head in the sand. Yet I feel that they are some of the things that I need the accountability of a system for the most. They aren't things that are so regimented that they are calendar worthy. They just need to be done often enough that they don't get out of hand.

    How would you recommend to deal with these types of things in a paper system? TIA

  • #2
    2 Ideas

    I find that I have to change up how I track that sort of stuff regularly or I start ignoring it. I tend to have to change my system about every 18 months or I forget it.

    2 techniques I go back to over and over are:

    1) 3 x 5 index cards The old traditional Sidetracked Home Executives aka Slob Sisters implementation. Each task is on a card, there is a space to write when done and they are kept in a card file by day, weekly or monthly. Most of the times when that works for me I color code the tasks with a different color for each frequency. Advantage is a much easier way to see what I haven't done in a while because I hate to do it. Downside is that it gets complex to maintain and the cards don't fit easily into any tickler system I use regularly.

    2)Control Journal Checklists from Flylady. Again things are set by frequency and I just check them off when done. Advantage is that it's easier to put the checklist (in a clear plastic sleeve) in my tickler file for me to do and I can easily bump it forward a day if I don't get stuff done. Disadvantage is there is no obvious tracking of how long since I last did something. I wipe the slate clean each month and that can mean I skip things for several months that then become a much bigger task.

    Biggest issue is that I really would prefer to muck a barn than vacuum a floor and so I have to really work hard to get myself to do any home cleaning and maintenance tasks.

    Other things I try to do include working on housecleaning stuff at least 15 minutes every day, or half an hour if I can manage it and giving myself a reward (time to read a book or knit or something) when I've done a certain number of household tasks. Both things seem to help.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks. I'm familiar with FL and SHE stuff. I haven't tried the cards. I do have a control journal. I just can't seem to integrate it with the other things I need to get done. Maybe I shouldn't try? 15 min chunks and the zones do help me. I would rather take up floor tile, re-organize a kitchen cabinet, work outside (if I had a barn, I'd probably rather muck it) than most maintenance type tasks around the house. Maybe 15 min of some kind of housecleaning IS calendar worthy and non-negotiable. Maybe I then should record after the fact what I do (like your example with the cards and the color coding).

      Open to other ideas.

      Comment


      • #4
        Even though my system is mostly paper, I use Sciral Consistency for fun stuff like litter box changes. Set the desired repeat interval and watch the little indicator go green, then yellow, then red. (http://sciral.com/consistency/)

        If you wanted to go pure paper, the closest analog might be index cards in the tickler file.

        Katherine

        Comment


        • #5
          I've got more than a few of these in my paper system.

          They're just sheets of paper in my Bring Forward files, with possibly a note on what interval they need to be repeated at. So their lifecycle is:

          * in Bring-Forward File for day X
          * on day X, enter Inbox
          * on completion, back into Bring-Forward File for interval-days later


          Cheers,
          Roger

          Comment


          • #6
            I created a cleaning checklist and put it in a cheap plexiglass frame ($1), and I "check" items off with a dry-erase pen, then wipe the list clean at the end of each month.

            Here's a photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/suffici...7603509085890/

            Comment


            • #7
              FLY and GTD!! Great idea!

              I have been flying for about a year and I just dont know what I did befor!! To see this on GTD is WONDERFUL! I had wondered if anyone had thought of doing both. I am not able to get up every day due to an illness but when I do, im dressed to shoes and do my swish and swipe as I use each bathroom throughout the day. I keep Clorox wipes in each bath, by the sink and by the dog dish and use them as needed. I have explained to my kids and DH what they are for and howd to use them but they have yet to try and experiment with them! I do know how hard it is to stay on top of household stuff, but I can say without a doubt that the SHE way is the best way by far!! I own every book and magazine that have the words organize on the cover and this is trully the best system! I use good old paper and pen and am still trying to find a way to better my GTD system but the FLYing got me ready for GTD! Good Luck!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MarinaMartin View Post
                I created a cleaning checklist and put it in a cheap plexiglass frame ($1), and I "check" items off with a dry-erase pen, then wipe the list clean at the end of each month.

                Here's a photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/suffici...7603509085890/
                I really like this idea. I don't think I'm ready for a plexi-glass frame yet though. I'll print one for November and then evaluate later in the month.

                Question: How big is this? I'm trying to create mine and to get all that on a sheet of paper, I'm having to use a font that appears smaller than yours and would have WAY less white-space on the page.

                What size font and rows and columns did you use, if you don't mind me asking?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Great thread!

                  You don't need plexi glass, you can just put it in one of those plastic sleeves, and a dry eraser will work just as well..

                  Personally I prefer paper from plastic though, too.. (to see progress from previous month etc) I may do something similar and just print out a 'test' copy for November!
                  Then again, you could take a photo of dry-erase board and store it digitally - hm!

                  I like Marina's lists but probably wouldn't go into that much detail (or maintenance frequency! ) Then again, we don't have a cat with long fur!
                  (We had a dog and just vacuumed weekly, mostly.. She was to stay off the couch though!)

                  Also, the more you shower and the more soap you use, the more lotion you need to apply, so a healthy balance may be needed there too (depending on nature of your work/life too)

                  So far I started a list for eg lightbulbs exchange (with dates and bulbs used, to measure how long they last, especially since I started experimenting with different bulbs that use less energy.. I wonder how long they will last..)

                  I've been wondering how to integrate FlyLady & GTD too.. So if there are any other ideas, keep them coming!
                  Last edited by Layla; 11-02-2009, 08:35 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I tried making a spreadsheet in Word (am most familiar with it - Excel would probably be easier..) - still working on it.. I tried 'landscape' for easier orientation, not sure if it will be enough, depends how many tasks there are.. So I'm experimenting with a 'portrait' orientation too.. (and very small font sizes for 10-31: font 6 or so..)
                    I'm thinking Marina had a bigger format than A4/letter size?
                    Alternatively, a 'checked' notebook/paper might do, and one part that stays printed/written down on the left.. (?) maybe in a sheet protector?

                    What are your thoughts on maybe splitting it into 2 pages/areas?

                    My questions for Marina: do you put stuff you hate first, and then the rest, or do you mix it up a bit? (eg a few unpleasant tasks, then some pleasant tasks..)

                    Also, why is there an asterisk* with Laundry* and Dishwasher*?
                    Do you have additional lists for those or does it mean 'if needed' or something?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Marina and the plexiglass covered list...

                      Marina's plexiglass checklist is a really fabulous way to keep track of recurring tasks. You cannot lose this list when it is housed in this way. It is easy to hold to fill in if you take if off the wall and easy to see. Sciral consistency as suggested by KEWMS is also a great thing but you need to reference it @computer, so it is thus most suitable for an office, classroom or studio, and not a "wet" environment. The limiting factor with the plexi covered list is there is no room for a comment like "this (brand....) of cleanser is a problem, or "next time.....". but a post it can do this for you. Also, it is nice to make the space big enough so that if a person other than yourself does the task he or she can designate this with an initial,

                      One question: my markers smear--any brand that does not smear that anyone is using.

                      Marina--I am wondering if you can direct me to where you have posted a little more about how you create and work the card system that you set up on Sunday for the rest of the week. Are these routine actions on a master list? How do you decide what day's card the items go on?

                      Many thanks, Jamie
                      Last edited by Jamie Elis; 11-02-2009, 10:22 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great discussion!

                        I started a sub-folder 'Cleaning solutions' (or something like that, in Slovenian) in the 'home' control journal.. If you put it on a post-it note, it's best to then write it somewhere more permanent, to stay away from problematic stuff in the future, when buying.. (I'm sensitive to some chemicals so I write those down)
                        Also, I try to use as natural stuff as possible, eg vinegar+water for bathroom etc.

                        I put Marina's list on 3 pages, according to floors and frequency, we'll see how this goes.. (Added a 'seasonal' one, for stuff that is done before Easter and Christmas and such.. )

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by malisa View Post
                          I really like this idea. I don't think I'm ready for a plexi-glass frame yet though. I'll print one for November and then evaluate later in the month.

                          Question: How big is this? I'm trying to create mine and to get all that on a sheet of paper, I'm having to use a font that appears smaller than yours and would have WAY less white-space on the page.

                          What size font and rows and columns did you use, if you don't mind me asking?
                          Definitely print and evaluate first. What I didn't mention before is that I waited until a certain item got dirty and then clean it the day before it gets dirty. (For example, if it takes four days for the carpet to look noticeably dirty from cat hair, I clean the carpet every three days.)

                          Try decreasing your page margins to make it fit. This list is in an 8" x 10" frame, with page margins set to 0.2" on each side. I used Helvetica, size 8 and each column is .17" wide.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Layla View Post
                            I tried making a spreadsheet in Word (am most familiar with it - Excel would probably be easier..) - still working on it.. I tried 'landscape' for easier orientation, not sure if it will be enough, depends how many tasks there are.. So I'm experimenting with a 'portrait' orientation too.. (and very small font sizes for 10-31: font 6 or so..)
                            I'm thinking Marina had a bigger format than A4/letter size?
                            Alternatively, a 'checked' notebook/paper might do, and one part that stays printed/written down on the left.. (?) maybe in a sheet protector?

                            What are your thoughts on maybe splitting it into 2 pages/areas?

                            My questions for Marina: do you put stuff you hate first, and then the rest, or do you mix it up a bit? (eg a few unpleasant tasks, then some pleasant tasks..)

                            Also, why is there an asterisk* with Laundry* and Dishwasher*?
                            Do you have additional lists for those or does it mean 'if needed' or something?
                            I used Helvetica font size 6 with .17" columns and it fits in Portrait mode on a 8" x 10" piece of paper. (Try decreasing margins to make it all fit.) A sheet of tiny-squared graphing paper would definitely work, too, although handwriting a list like this creates resistance to make small changes (i.e. you won't rewrite the entire sheet just to vacuum the carpet slightly more frequently, and over time this degrades the quality of the schedule).

                            My list is entirely based on how long it takes for something to get dirty [by my standards]. If I notice the bathroom mirror looks dirty every six days, then on my list, I clean it every five days. However, when I initially drew up the schedule, I intentionally tried to spread things out so I wasn't ever doing too much on any one day. I also group things like mopping and vacuuming.

                            The asterisk means "If needed." I don't have to run the dishwasher everyday, but I need to at least check and see if it needs running.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jamie Elis View Post
                              Marina's plexiglass checklist is a really fabulous way to keep track of recurring tasks. You cannot lose this list when it is housed in this way. It is easy to hold to fill in if you take if off the wall and easy to see. Sciral consistency as suggested by KEWMS is also a great thing but you need to reference it @computer, so it is thus most suitable for an office, classroom or studio, and not a "wet" environment. The limiting factor with the plexi covered list is there is no room for a comment like "this (brand....) of cleanser is a problem, or "next time.....". but a post it can do this for you. Also, it is nice to make the space big enough so that if a person other than yourself does the task he or she can designate this with an initial,

                              One question: my markers smear--any brand that does not smear that anyone is using.

                              Marina--I am wondering if you can direct me to where you have posted a little more about how you create and work the card system that you set up on Sunday for the rest of the week. Are these routine actions on a master list? How do you decide what day's card the items go on?

                              Many thanks, Jamie
                              If you need to use different brands of cleaners for different tasks, you could use a code (WV for water + vinegar) at the end of the task name, or even color-code the item itself. You could also label the cleaning bottles themselves with the room(s) they're meant for (which is what I do).

                              I don't have a post up yet about my daily action cards because I'm working on a bigger package/instructional series that it will be part of. (I'll post here when it's ready!) Basically, I have the cards saved as a seven-page document in Word (one page = each day's task). Each day's template is basically the same thing, but small things vary (i.e. I do pushups on M/W/F and situps on T/H/S) by day.

                              I leave blank spaces for MITs (Most Important Tasks) and I generally fill those in the night before, only for items that MUST be done the next day. If I have a big project (say, read a book before a book club meeting), then I count how many days I have left, and how many pages I have to read, and list "Read X Pages" as an MIT each day. If I don't do it one day, I transfer that MIT to the next day's. If I have two or three of the same task listed on one card ("Read 100 pages" "Read 100 pages" "Read 100 pages") that's an immediate visual cue to me that I *have* to get that done today or I'll fall behind.

                              Comment

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