Tuesday, September 29, 2009

To-Do List Tuesday

I am a "to-do list" kind of mom... If I don't have some type of motivation and direction IN WRITING, I tend to plop my butt down in front of the computer and waste hours of the day while watching the kids destroy the house room by room.

My to-do lists are totally lame by what I would consider to do list standards. I put the most menial tasks on there just to have something else to check off to elevate my feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. "But honey, just look at all these things I checked off on my to-do list today!"

I will make cleaning the kitchen into a 10 item to-do list. For example:
1. Unload the dishwasher.
2. Wipe down countertops.
3. Wipe down appliances.
4. Wipe down the front of the refrigerator.
5. Clean the kitchen table.
6. Clean the high chair tray.
7. Sweep.
8. Mop.
9. Reload the dishwasher.
10. Clean sink.

I need these 10 items to be marked off and consolidating them would lower my motivation level considerably. I could make a one item to do list like this:

1. Clean kitchen.

The end result of this list is the same but the feeling of scratching out each item on a 10 item list is so much more self-sastisfying.

The children do not share my need to inflate the to-do list. I give them each about 5 chores per day depending on age and ability level. If I broke their 5 chores into 3 steps each for a 15 step to-do list, I would have total anarchy on my hands. I've learned the best way to get my kids to complete their chores around here is to make it into a competition. At a certain time every day, the chores are handed out, the time is noted and with a big "Ready! Set! GO GO GO GO GO!" they are off. Various lame prizes doled out for the first ones done. "You sir, are the winner of a huge hug and kiss from Mom!" I get eye rolls for this since they know they would get the hug and kiss anyway but they still fall for the competition theory every time.

My motivation is already puttering out so I've got to get started or I won't have any of my 25 things marked off my list today. What's on your to-do list for today?


  1. Interesting. I never thought about breaking it down like that, but makes sense that it would work!

  2. If I broke it down like that, you would find me in a corner rocking and sucking my thumb. ;) I am definitely a "consolidate it" type of person. I would much rather only have three things on my list to mark off than 25 things; that would give me panic attacks!

    On my to-do list today:
    1. clean the bathrooms
    2. clean the kitchen

    That's all! And the first one is done; wahoo!

  3. Hey my list looks like yours LOL and the kids list well Ya right . I wrote they throw it on the floor and step on it. If I don't add their chores to my list and at least give them a hand in the same room to EYE hawk their jobs to get done well its not getting done. :(

    Good luck with your list. I do mine at night when everyone is sleeping or atleast when I'm down to 1 child awake.