“Son,” I asked when we were working in the garden yesterday, “Why can’t you focus on this job like you do at work?” Of the various sensible reasons he gave, one stood out. “I don’t know when I’m done, so there’s not much use doing anything.”
And there he had hit the nail on the head. For work to go well, people need to know what the day’s task is. For a mother training children to work, she needs to communicate exactly what needs to be done that day. Anyone trying to meet a goal needs to know what the goal is. Obvious, isn’t it?
But, in the rush to get things done, I often find myself skipping that step. Frankly, it is hard work divide a project into daily tasks, and it takes time I’d rather spend doing something. Even though I know from experience that such an attitude is counter-productive, I keep slipping into it.
So, for the 21 Day Self-Discipline Challenge, based on 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life, I’m going to take some everyday projects and divide them into daily tasks as well as tackle a dream in half hour segments.
I know you’re only ‘supposed’ to attempt one mega-project for the challenge, but the everyday projects are things I need to do anyhow, and breaking them into daily tasks will really help me to get them done. I’m making one other adjustment: since our Sundays are for worship, fellowship, and rest, there are three days off in my 21 tasks.
So here are my three mega-projects with their various components (not yet broken up into daily tasks) and my tiny project.
Project 1. Catch up on the homeschooling after our busy harvest season:
Ensure that the daily work is completed each day (ongoing), and enforce a routine for those children that need it. (Note that this is not a part of the mega-project; this is the daily habit I want to develop again.)
Catch up on Omnibus: reading, marking, and discussing with my teens. I’m guessing this will only take about 10 days of an hour or two each. Remember, this is part of our homeschool life, so it makes sense to allot a significant amount of time to it.
Catch up on transcript work for my teens. This second part of the project is the big challenge, for much has been neglected during the gardening season. I don’t expect to finish it all, but just to get a good start. When I plan my daily tasks, I’ll set a concrete goal so that I’ll know what to aim for.
Considerations: Homeschool outings and opportunities may take up some of the allotted time. On those days, I’ll take a break if necessary.
Project 2. Prepare for winter. This involves:
the garden (turning the compost pile, cleaning out the vegetable garden, transplanting plants affected by the toxic compound juglone from our butternut trees, trimming the flower gardens, spreading compost onto the garden, mulching the garlic)
the chickens (get straw and/or cut meadow grass for hay for our laying hens; clean up and muck out the meat chicken area)
the house (wash the windows inside and out, wash the chandeliers, wash and/or air all the bedding, vacuum the valences, scrub walls and light fixtures, clean the oven, and maybe even clean the carpets)
Considerations: The weather will determine what we can do each day. Since all five of us will be working on this project, determining half hour tasks will not work. Instead, I’ll just make a list of jobs and we’ll choose something from the list each day.
Project 3. Start a new blog and/or website about gluten-free living:
This is the dream project. After being asked for gluten-free help several times, including at the specialty flour bins in the store, I decided I’d love to be able to send people to a blog with lots of carefully double-checked information. That’s much better than scrambling to remember things on the spot.
Tasks include: determine the purpose of the blog, find a title, reread relevant posts from Blogging with Amy, buy a domain name, plan the content and layout, set up the blog and/or website, think about advertising, and write, write, write.
Considerations: Basic Christian living, family, homeschool, health, and home come first. I won’t neglect them for this project. But most days I can spare 30 minutes, which is what each task should take if they are divided up correctly.
Set up my Swagbucks toolbar again. You can earn Amazon (and other) gift cards with absolutely no effort if you search the internet regularly. I don’t expect any serious income, but a bit of found money never hurt anyone.
Today’s tasks: Divide each of the mega-projects into short daily tasks (doing so will be day 1’s task for each of them), and set up the Swagbucks toolbar.
If you want some accountability for your projects, habits, or goals, join us in the 21 Day Self-Discipline challenge.