28 Mar
2011

Each Day’s Proper Work

I recently re-read the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and came across this passage from Little House in the Big Woods:

“Each day had it’s own proper work. Ma used to say:
Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday,
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday,
Rest on Sunday.”

Now that I’m reading these words with adult eyes, it struck me that there is something incredibly wise about having an assigned time for big (but ongoing) household projects like this. What I tended to do, is a bit of random groupings of things here and there. Though I’m always “making progress” in the strictest sense, I’m also not really aware of when the work day might be done. I generally operate as:

Stuff on Monday,
Stuff on Tuesday,
Stuff on Wednesday…
You get the picture.

I’m beginning to catch on. For example, our family started having gardening time every Wednesday evening. It’s not a set amount of hours, but it tends to run from anywhere between an hour and three hours, which is actually quite a bit of time when it happens each and every Wednesday. And, because I know I’m going to get to the next gardening thing on Wed. means that I can elect to do yard work or gardening (or not) any other day. At the very least, things will be watered, weeded and inspected weekly and I can make progress on our bigger projects, like creating a new bed, mulching and the like.

And, since Wed. is our gardening day, we make sure to eat a quicker meal on Wed., so that we can all have time to pitch in. This has gradually evolved to us eating on our back porch every Wed. night, so that we can plan what we are going to do after we eat. It sounds really basic, but this has become important to us.

New Recipes on Monday...

Now as I think about the rewards I’ve found from our Gardening Wednesdays, I am tempted to choose a few other things to assign days for. Naturally, my business work and my personal work would need to separate daily work, since they are operated alone and then as a family.

So our family plan might be something like:

“New Recipes on Monday,
Craft on Tuesday,
Vacuum on Wednesday,
Mend on Thursday (while I’m watching 30 Rock and Parks & Rec),
Rest on Friday,
Purchase on Saturday (garage sales and groceries-but maybe we should gas up, buy birthday presents, etc. too just to knock everything out),
Exotic Laundry on Sunday (steaming, handwashing, etc.)”

And my business might run:

“Paper/Web work on Monday,
Make Sugars on Tuesday,
Long Term Schwa on Wednesday (work on small parts of big projects),
Sales Calls on Thursday,
Market on Friday,
Rest on Saturday,
Plan on Sunday”

Naturally, there would be days that I couldn’t do these things. But for the majority of time, I’d have a purpose for each day that would contribute to an overall sense of accomplishment, and help me focus on things I care about.

Do you have a weekly schedule or plan like this? How does yours work?

So, what do you think?