Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Internal Chore-Clock

Some people have a knack for knowing how long something is really going to take.  They know if they need to leave at 5:00, exactly which chores they have time for.  Not me.  I think my internal chore-clock is broken.  I am always overestimating or under-estimating the amount of time something will take.  I'm never just right.  And I never know which of those options it will be!

I often find myself looking at something that needs to be done and thinking, "That is going to take forever!"  When I finally get to it and tackle the job, I find out it didn't take nearly as long as I thought.  Or, I'll look at a task and be sure I have plenty of time to finish it.  But, I'll run out of time (or energy) and have to leave it half-done.  

But, a few days ago, I read a tip on A Slob Comes Clean.  I can't link to the exact post where she talks about it since I am in the process of reading through the entire blog from beginning to end.  But, she mentions that someone once recommended that she time herself doing some of her chores.  That way she can have a realist idea of how long certain tasks really take.

Duh!  Why did I never think of this!  What better way to get a better grasp on the length of time by chores take than to actually time myself doing them?

So, today I timed myself cleaning my bathroom.  Here is the challenge I faced:

Yep, that's my messy bathroom.  I will say that the curtain normally doesn't look like that.  It must have gotten messed up when I closed it after my shower.  I normally fix it as soon as I see that happen.  But, I didn't notice it until I came back to take some pictures.  But, I figured, in order to be completely honest I had to leave it that way for the picture.

This is our one and only bathroom.  So, it gets lots of use!  This is even the cat's bathroom.  Notice the litter box in the corner?  I've tried moving it to the garage, but, I just can't remember to clean it when it is down there.  Unfortunately, there really isn't a better place for it.  But, Allie Cat isn't always the neatest in the bathroom.  Sometimes her little gets tracked on the floor a little.  Yuck!

So, how long did I think cleaning the bathroom would take me?  My guess was about an hour.  An hour?!  For a tiny bathroom?!  Why, yes.  After all, listen to everything that needed to be done:

  • Counter cleared (and everything put away where it belongs)
  • Sink cleaned
  • Counter wiped down
  • Stuff that stays on the counter wiped off
  • Toilet scrubbed
  • Toilet wiped down (inside, outside, top, and bottom - after all I have a little boy)
  • Liter box scooped
  • Take out the garbage
  • Replace garbage bag
  • Towels changed
  • Everything on the floor taken out
  • Go find broom and mop
  • Floor swept
  • Floor mopped
  • Everything put back where it belongs
  • Put broom and mop away
  • Scrub my hands
How long did all of this really take me?  30 minutes and 10 seconds.  Half the time I thought it would!   And that was with a break so Bubby could use the bathroom!  Not too shabby!  Had I actually been keeping up with the clutter on the counter or wiping down all the surfaces, it probably would have taken half that. 

Here is the final product:

My counters a cleared (except the stuff that belongs there which is place neatly), all the surfaces are clean and sanitary, the litter box has been scooped, the linens are fresh, and everything smells nice!  Since I've been cleaning my shower while I'm in it with my kitchen scrub brush, I didn't need to do anything to the shower.

So, now I know that it takes about a half-hour to clean my messy bathroom from top to bottom.  I also know that if I do my daily Swish n' Swipe (ala Flylady) it will take even less time.

Maybe I'm on my way to retraining my internal chore-clock!

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