Thursday, February 16, 2012

Simplify: Week 2

Last week's simplify challenge was to show up early. I've spent the past week focused on getting places with breathing room to spare. And honestly? It's been great.

Keys to success? Setting my phone so it reminds me 45 minutes before an appointment and then again 30 minutes before. That's my key to start wrapping up whatever I'm working on, and with 30 minutes to go it's usually time to pack up and head out the door.

I will definitely try to make this a habit. It's nice to drive to a meeting and not worry about being late. Plus, I can usually knock out a task or two on my phone if I arrive at my destination early.

So... my second week's challenge.

Ramsland defines two minute pickups as tasks that are too short to write on a to-do list, but that slow the pace of your life if you ignore them too long.

Examples? Unloading the dishwasher. Adding a frequently called number to your phone. RSVPing to an event. Filing a paper on your desk. Labeling a binder. Hanging up your coat. And so on.

I can easily see the benefit in this if I just look at my house. If I take the time to put things where they go, my house is clean. Small tasks done multiple times quickly are much easier than the time it takes to dig out from under them.

For the next week, I'll focus on doing things now that can be done quickly. I won't walk past something that needs to be taken upstairs when I'm going that way. I will hang my clothes up when I take them off. And dang it, my life will be better.

Or something like that!! Does this task fit your life? Are you super good at two minute pickups already (hey Mom!) or could you use some work in this area too? Any tips for success?


  1. So I totally write down some of those 2 minute pickup tasks on my to-do list... "unload the dishwasher" was successfully crossed off already this morning, and I feel productive! Lol!
    Good luck!

  2. I can attribute to the fact that doing those quick chores makes life a lot easier!
    I put a pile of stuff on the stairs and every time I run upstairs, I grab what's there and put it away.
    The kitchen is a place that I frequently stay on top of, I once heard that if you keep your sink clean everything else will stay clean and it's so true. I quickly load items into the dishwasher and run it as soon as it's full. I wipe counters after I make a's all those little things that really add up!!
    Let me know how it works for you! :)


  3. Yes! I am so bad at this during the work week. And then on Saturday, I feel very much like "ugh! How does this house get so messy!?"

    Oh yes, it is because of me!

  4. I constantly use the 2 minute pick-up method -- any tips on getting the boyfriend to do it as well? :D

  5. As a natural extension on your two-minute pickups: My mother always told me (and she is right), "Never take one more step than you need to in housework. Stop and think." It's amazing how many more steps we take than we need to, in our rush to unload the dishwasher, get to the dryer as soon as it beeps, etc. Now as an adult woman with a house I primarily run alone, this advice has become more invaluable than ever - filling my hands with waterglasses from upstairs before I go downstairs to get my morning coffee, pausing and remembering to take the sheets I just stripped downstairs for laundry, etc. Her other big hobby-horse was "every time you get out of your car, fill your hands." I'm not as good about this as I should be, but *her* car is amazingly clean all the time -- because every time she gets out to fill her gas tank, or go to the post office, or arrives home after work, she "fills her hands" with trash to get rid of, papers she brought home, etc. (Another great Phyl Elkins tip is that she always keeps a small bottle of club soda in her car console for soaking stains on the go.)


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