One of the things that I love to do is take the time to sit down with a pen and piece of paper and look at the way that I am spending my day.
I like to go through all the tasks that I do and ask, ‘What things really do I enjoy doing, what things bring me joy?
What jobs and tasks do I seem to jump in and do with ease and seem to have no problem to motivate myself to do and what other things are in my diary or ‘to do list’, that I keep putting off and procrastinating? Reminding myself that I will do it later and that later then becomes a week away, a month away and heck I've still not made any progress whatsoever with it.
Wherever we procrastinate is often a good indicator of what we do not really enjoy doing.
Something that I have learnt throughout my journey and recently made a big decision about, is things that I really do not enjoy doing.
Guess what, whenever possible I am not going to do it.
I have learnt that I’m a great people person, I’m great at being with people, making friends, talking to people, building meaningful connections. But I’m definitely not great in the office, I have no filing system or organised structure.
If you ask me for an important document like my home loan papers, I'll smile and say sure I can show them to you tomorrow. I would then go home and rip my house apart trying to remember where I have placed them. In the area of organisation, I just can't seem to get my shit together.
You would think after 34 years I would get better at this, but no I’m still really bad. Not one of my strengths for sure.
One of the first steps to improving my personal happiness score and scale was being firm and sifting through all my tasks. Any piece of work or a job that did not bring me joy, I chose to delegate that job to someone who did enjoy it.
The thought of spending my Sunday cleaning my house, doing the washing, groceries or those mundane Sunday chores makes me cringe. It’s not that I can’t do these jobs, but I just don’t want to do them. It’s boring and I would rather spend my Sunday doing things that do bring me joy. Like catching up with friends and family or seeing a film.
So my number one problem becomes if I leave those tasks for me they just won’t get done, any excuse will come first.
If it's sunny outside I feel bad for wasting the day inside. I better go and see my friend as I haven't caught up with her in ages.
People think I’m crazy, but there are ways I can go without washing my clothes. I am forced to wear the clothes at the bottom of the cupboard that you forget about. I love this, as you forgot you had them and then you feel like you're wearing something new again.
The wonderful thing is when you take ownership of how you choose to spend your day, you learn to do something different with those little jobs. I learnt to delegate it. You learn to make what you do really count and matter. The cool thing is what you do not enjoy doing, there is someone else out there, crazy as it seems, who loves doing it.
There are people that love to clean houses. That is what they choose to do for a living so why not help them out and give them a job.
The first time I got my house cleaned I honestly could not believe it.
For a long time, I couldn't justify this and was not going to pay someone else to do it as I wasn’t going to spend the money. I had a roommate rent out my spare room in the unit when I first bought it, to help pay the mortgage and he was a nice guy but not the cleanest of human beings.
When he decided to move out, I could not even deal with the state of the room. I couldn't walk in without feeling like I was going to hurl. So I hired a cleaner for a one off job to give the room and my entire unit a spring clean.
I kid you not, when I got home from work and walked up the stairs the smell was so inviting, refreshing, spotless and honestly, I started crying. It was like I walked into a palace. My house was a palace. I felt like Jasmine from Aladdin. I did not want to touch anything. The joy and smile it put on my face was something well worth the money I spent. That smile lasted days.
My house was so immaculately clean, in a way that I would never do it. It just gave me this feeling that I could burst from the inside out smiling from ear to ear. I just loved when I came home from work for that entire week. I was on a cleaning high. I decided that day that I would do whatever I had to do to have this again. For me, I gave up buying my lunch out a few times a week. I did enjoy buying sushi a few times a week but I enjoyed the clean house so much more. So instead I made my lunch every day and put that money into paying the cleaner.
So until this day, four years later, I get my house cleaned once a fortnight and every time I get home and walk up the stairs I still get that same feeling. It really does bring me so much joy.
Also on my Sunday, I don’t have to worry about doing the big clean. I can spend my time doing whatever I want to. Catching up with my friends, family, reading, walking the beach basically doing whatever the hell I want to.
So your first job is to take the time to sit down and write down all the jobs and tasks that you do in your day and week and then next blog we can dive into working through what we need to delete from our lives