Happily, I don’t mind this kind of work as there are always ways to make a process more efficient and if something is a real mess it’s easy to make an improvement. However, what this has taught me, and what others have observed, is if you put the time in things really can happen. If you keep chipping away at that block eventually it will be (or at least resemble) what you wanted it to be in the first place. If the shape has changed over time sometimes that can be a good thing.
Inspired by this, I wonder if I can apply the same principle to things at home. If I spent an hour a day on something how much could I achieve? Could I really get things done?
In combination with this I have two major considerations:
1) An hour a day is a lot of time.
On week nights my spare/free time amounts to about an hour. I have chores (my best hobby, helping to cook, washing up, drinking tea etc.) and I need a reasonable amount of sleep so my evenings are pretty short. Therefore, it is fair to realise now that an hour a day won’t always happen if I want to socialise. Three hours in a week is better than no hours in a week and this is the kind of thinking that is needed. I will have to give up some TV watching time. Sometimes that will be hard.
2) The process is more important than the goal.
I recently read an article discussing the theory that when people do something for an end goal they are less likely to stick with it than if they do something that has immediate benefits as part of the process. E.g. exercising to be slim and hot one far away day versus exercising because it clears your head and you feel great stretching those limbs.
With this in mind, rather than focussing on an end goal, this experiment is about creating better habits, getting things in order and making some aspects of life more efficient and simplified. I also hope to experience the freedom of silencing the voice in my head that continuously chants ‘you really must do that oh yes I really must do that’.
What will I be spending my hour a day on? These are some of the things I think I really must do.
Finances – I have already made a start with this but stuff like pensions, writing a will, and making a proper budget I can actually stick to are all a bit muddy right now. Plus we need to make some big purchases which we should spend some time on researching. We need a new mattress. Not sure how to enjoy the process on that one.
Learning a language – Again, I am part way there with this but need to make that jump into talking more in the new language and less in English.
Exercise - to be slim and hot one far away day. Also to hopefully be able to bend over to pick something up without my bones snapping when I am 50 (or tomorrow).
The House – clear out stuff, mend stuff, clean stuff really good. Make the house look pretty.
Clothes – as above but without the extra cleaning; my clothes are pretty clean thanks to my best hobby.
Art – make stuff! I used to make stuff and I want to make stuff again. I would also like to finish stuff like the quilt that is partly made of clothes from the 90’s.
Food – Making salads & healthy oat snacks, clearing out those cupboards & alphabetising the spice rack (hey it’s already alphabetised so I can tick that one off the list), ordering an organic veg box from one of the leaflets we’ve had for two years and making that weird soup out of dried stuff we got from the Asian supermarket.
You get the idea by now. A lot of these things will never really be finished, but if it’s possible to eventually spend just half an hour on something now and then to keep on top of it, and if I am spending more time on the things I love to do, that would be pretty amazing. I am hoping for some spin-off benefits such as inviting friends around and forcing them to try that weird soup made out of dried stuff, with a cocktail, while I show off my 90’s trouser quilt.
Where to start?
Keeping control of our finances is the basis of how we are able to live right now and in the future. It is something that is important to us for peace of mind, especially in these uncertain times.
Some of the hour a day will be simple admin and but other aspects will need research, decision making and planning. If I have a financial revelation along the way you will hear about it!
Is there something you already spend a lot of your free time on? If you had an extra hour a day how would you spend it?
Co-founder, The Clean Sheet