07 Aug 7 things you should shouldn’t bother adding to your “to-do” list (just do them right away)


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I’m a to-do list kind of person. I like to see things get done and cross them off (even if it’s digitally). My wife is not. She wants to be organized but doesn’t like to write it down or be held to specific due dates etc. Regardless of how you handle tasks, there are certain things that should just be done right away. We all know someone who puts off taking out the trash WAY too long. They instead play a trash heap version of Jenga until hopefully someone other than them finally relents and takes it to the dumpster. This happens to be number one on my list…although these are in no particular order of importance.

1. Taking out the trash

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Why do we wait to do this? It’s gross, it stinks, it has to go no matter what. I once timed myself taking the trash out at 15 seconds. JUST DO IT.

2. Making a “short” phone call

Again, my wife avoids this like the plague. I don’t understand it. If you need to call to confirm or change an appt. or for any random thing and you know it will only take a few minutes, JUST DO IT!

3. Paying a bill

Setting aside your ability to pay, if you are budgeting properly and are able to pay all of your bills every month, then why not pay them right away when you get paid? The ones that are due during that pay period are going to have to be paid prior to getting paid again, so what are you waiting for? JUST DO IT! Make it part of your routine, once your paycheck is there just go pay all of the bills due until the next paycheck. This is much easier if you have a separate “bills” account. Please don’t tell me you’re holding your money to earn that extra “interest” for 13 days.


4. Putting something back where it belongs

OMG. Yes I just used OMG because what is wrong with us? My wife once conducted an experiment where she counted the number of days some item remained on the floor where it was not supposed to be. She had to start counting the weeks. A general rule of thumb: if it take less than 10 minutes to do, JUST DO IT! If it takes less than 10 seconds….stop being lazy.

5. Doing that little bit of hand wash

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I hate doing dishes, but how pathetic is it that we leave like 3 things sitting on the counter for 2 weeks instead of taking a few minutes to clean it up. And by “we” I mean other people, because I would never do such a thing.

6. Brushing your teeth/flossing

I have a feeling there are few among us who brush and floss the recommended amount of times a day and for the recommended duration. Why not? Teeth are pretty damn important. It’s 2 minutes! A few times a day. And with the help of a floss stick flossing is quick and easy. Let’s get our collective act together on this one.

7. Putting laundry away

Right this second there are no less than 5 piles of clothes in our bedroom in various states of cleanliness. For example there are the “slightly worn but not ready for the wash”, “clean but don’t want to put away”, and “not sure, eventually will just throw it all back in the dirty clothes”. This is pure laziness. Put that ish away and be done with it. I hope I can be better at this myself, because I am terrible. At least I will have motivation to do this right after this post and before my wife reads it.

Why 7, that’s just what I decided to come up with. I’m sure I could think of more but you can get the idea. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can accomplish in the next 10 minutes (or 10 seconds). You will be much happier and less stressed without all the clutter and long list of to-do items.

Message to Claire:

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We just had your 5th birthday party (Frozen themed of course). Your mom put in a lot of hard work making it really nice. You loved everything. I think a lot about when you get older and how much you and your mom will probably argue and I just hope you are able to keep it in perspective at least a little bit. She goes out of her way to try and do nice things for you that she doesn’t have to. She doesn’t spoil you, and does not give in to your demands when you are acting up, you think she is being a “mean mommy”, but this is really best for you as a person. We do not want you to have a sense of entitlement, regardless of what we are or are not able to provide for you. You still have to earn things and things can be taken away. The fact that your mom has chosen to stay home and raise you should say a lot. She could have chosen a career path, we would have more money and you would be in daycare like many other kids. She chose a sometimes thankless path of being a stay at home mom. Many people do not value this and view moms who don’t “work” as lazy or not contributing enough. I know better, and hopefully you will see this as a great sacrifice she made to try and teach you as much as she could. Not all moms are willing or able to do that. Many days it is not fun, and she is exhausted from all the fits and fighting, (and that’s just with 2 of you!). Now she will be taking care of a newborn in addition to you and Gabriel. Maybe someday when you are 12 and say something terrible to your mother, you will read back on this and realize that no matter what she loves you and is trying her best at raising you to be a good person and trying to help you avoid the traps of adolescence. Parenting really is the most difficult job, no matter what you do as a parent ultimately its the child that makes his or her own decisions, but you always feel responsible.