I didn't sleep very well last night, so I decided to give my article some breathing room today. I needed to do some domestic chores, but I felt lazy. So I decided to make a time-management game of it. I set the timer for 1 hour and tried to see how much I could get done.
I emptied the dishwasher, a task I had begun the night before. I put in the dirty dishes, wiped off the top of the kitchen counters. I got my clothes out of the dryer and put them away. Then I scrubbed two toilets, mopped two bathroom floors and the kitchen, plus the stairs leading to the basement. I vacuumed the one room in the house with carpet, changed two lightbulbs, one of which burned out while I was working. At this point I still had a lot of time left, so I put two new bills into my online bill payment and paid them. I cleaned off the glass coffee tables with windex. There was still time left so I took out the recycling, cleaned off the top of the ping-pong table and did some general straightening. The only major tasks I didn't get done were cleaning the rest of the bathroom counters and showers and mopping the hard-wood floors.
What did I learn? An hour is a long time for housework. Grouping tasks, like mopping everything at the same time, or cleaning the toilets all at once, makes things go faster. I had originally planned to clean one room a day while Akiko was in Spain, but I hadn't really done much yet. It would be better to spend one hour every other day and do as much as possible. The timer was a helpful, because without it I would have just done about 15 minutes and quit. I was actually looking for extra things to do at the end.