Are You Putting Off Small Tasks? Create a Maintenance Day

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What is a Maintenance Day?

An allotted period of time scheduled on a regular basis to do outstanding odd jobs and tasks pertaining to these areas of life.

  • Household
  • Garden
  • Travel planning
  • Car
  • Health and wellness
  • and Other random stuff

Why do I need a Maintenance Day?

Even though I work very hard, I enjoy being lazy. But I find it hard to be lazy (think relaxing, peaceful time with family or solitude time) when there are outstanding things to do that I can constantly see while walking around the house. Looking at overgrown weeds, an overcrowded fridge or pantry, a messy (and usually overflowing) garage gives me an emotional reaction. Usually, it’s irritation and frustration.

Rather than constantly feel this way, why not take a practical and methodical approach to overcoming these emotions.

How Much Time Should Maintenance Day Take?

The Amount of time you spend on Maintenance Day will depend on how much you have to or want to get done and how soon.

There are 2 aspects to consider:
1) Time allotted per session – A maintenance session could be 1-2 hours, half a day, full day
2) Frequency of Sessions – A maintenance session could be weekly, fortnightly or even monthly.

Determine Your Maintenance Day and Write It Down.

This is probably the most important step. You’ll need to work out how much time you have available to allocate to this. Also, consider the time you spend thinking about these outstanding and unfinished tasks and perhaps the emotions attached to them- frustration, annoyance, irritation or even guilt.

More often than not, it is actually easier to just get them done. The key is to commit to a time, so work out what that time is for you and WRITE IT DOWN.

If you use a e-Calendar, make a recurring entry for that time each week or how often you decide to do it.

Practical Examples of Planning Maintenance Sessions.

1. My Maintenance Morning is every week on Friday morning from 9am – 12am
2. My Maintenance Day is every second Saturday from 10am – 4pm
3. My Maintenance Sessions are every Tuesday and Thursday from 9am-10:30am
4. My Maintenance Day is every month on alternate RDO’s (Rostered Day Off – In Australia some industries allocate an RDO every fortnight to even out contracted employment hours)

Create a Master Maintenance List.

Let’s face it – There will always be maintenance tasks to do. As we’ve finally finish 3 or 4 tasks that we’ve put off for ages, it seems like instantly they are replaced with 5 more tasks to do. Things arrive in the mail, via email, via phone and let’s not forget what’s growing in your garden, garage, fridge and kids games area.

There is a solution…

Make a master list of all the tasks you need to get done. Use whatever system you are used to. ie Paper, computer, tablet or smartphone. Save this master list. It should be readily accessible and on hand at a moments notice to add tasks as required.

Now that you have made a list and most importantly written it down, you may find a slight sense of relief or optimism. Generally, after I write down items that I have been trying to remember in my head, it provides a sense of relief. Perhaps just trying to keep track of these things in your mind alone is causing tension. Write them down.

Plan Your Next Maintenance Session.

This is the easy part.

Choose a few tasks on your master list that you want to complete in your next maintenance session. Approximately match up the time it takes to do these tasks with the time you have allocated for your maintenance sessions.
Some tasks may be quick and simple and you’ll fly through a bunch of them. Others may be more urgent and time pressured, while others could be more important for the long term. In Stephen Covey’s book “7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” he explains this concept of Urgent vs Important very well.

Keep Going – Maintain Regular Maintenance Sessions 🙂

The important practice here is to be regular and give yourself permission to spend this time every however often to get these often overlooked tasks done.
We often rationalise putting off these tasks because we are too busy with work and school, but just the emotional cost of putting these off can be worth the effort to gain an overall sense of optimism, preparedness and readiness.

These are often overlooked and undervalued in life, but when you’re on top of things – boy doesn’t that feel good!

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