Sunday Salon: Week 3 of My Happiness Project

sunday salonTime: // 12:46 p.m. – Saturday afternoon

The scene: // The sun is out and shining. If you didn’t already know it, you wouldn’t think it was fall. It feels more like summer, but for once, I don’t mind. My mood matches the weather. Tomorrow morning, as this post appears on my blog, I should be at a local park that has plenty of acres to explore or at the beach with the kids.

As with any goal, there has been some hits and misses with my ongoing happiness project as I de-clutter and try to manage my time better. Here’s what I learned in the past two weeks:

It doesn’t matter where you keep your to-do list as long as you check it throughout the day! I’m a post-it/back of a bill/index card-writing kind of girl. Before, I would put my to-do lists on any piece of paper near me. I would also use that same piece of paper for a bookmark and wonder why I couldn’t find it later. So I decided to write my to-do lists in my journal, thinking that if I kept it in the same place, I would be able to find it. I was able to find my list but I never checked it! Talk about frustrating. For days I forgot to check my list, if I even remembered to write my list down! I didn’t use my journal very often to start with, so it wasn’t the best place for my list.

Now I use my phone to keep up with my to-do list and add an alarm so I get beeped during the day to check on my progress. That helps a lot. While we’re talking about alarms…

A kitchen timer is one of the best things you can use to help you achieve your goals. Whether I’m putting on the timer for 15 minutes as I straighten up a room or for an hour as I work on homework or my blog, hearing the ticking of the timer keeps me focused. That’s something my phone’s alarm can’t do.

Cull. Rearrange. Repeat. In the past three weeks, I have given away books, bed sheets, clothes, and anything else I thought I can live without. My space still felt small, so I started rearranging things. What a relief. My living room and bedroom function a lot better and I don’t have to look at piles of things. What couldn’t fit is gone.

De-cluttering and time management will always be an ongoing process. I didn’t realize that at first. I figured that once you understand how to manage your day or keep your living space livable, you don’t have to worry about it again. Wrong. It’s a daily process.

Be patient with yourself. Over the past few weeks, I had to deal with stubborn and smelly carpet stains, migraines, car troubles, and other unexpected things. It doesn’t matter how packed your day is, things come up. And they usually happen when you least expect them to. I’ve gotten pretty frustrated before I realized that I need to take a deep breath and realize that’s life. It doesn’t matter how early I wake up or how late I stay awake, I’m not about to run myself ragged to do the unexpected along with everything else. Asking for help or waiting until another day to do some things helps keep me sane.
I plan on spending the next week focusing on my de-cluttering and time management routine. While I’m doing that, I’m also figuring out what November’s goals will be. With NaNoWriMo and so many other writing projects going on during that time, writing may be the thing I focus on.

So tell me, what have you been up to? Have you figured out what you are going to accomplish in November?

About Vasilly

Mother, daughter, sister, college student, bookworm, lover of chocolate and coffee.
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21 Responses to Sunday Salon: Week 3 of My Happiness Project

  1. Yes, I like what you’ve been done here…and here…and here…but this…hmmm.😉 No, just kidding. It looks like you’re making good progress. I agree about the to-do list. I’m sadly not much of a journaler either. I want to be, but my last journal (on an app I have on my phone) is from October 15. Go figure.

    I haven’t figured out what I’m going to accomplish in November. I’m just getting through October, lady🙂. Let me think about it and get back to you (and everyone else too…next week).

  2. I hope you are crazy proud of what you are accomplishing! Culling is something that I’m forever working on, then abandoning, then re-working on. I guess it really is a work in progress

  3. BermudaOnion says:

    It’s in the 80s here today and that makes me very happy. I couldn’t live without my to-do lists.

  4. I forgot to say in that other post that I got a bunch of very cheap whiteboards (Target and Michael’s) and I put lists on them all over the place, including on my husband’s CHAIR when I put lists on for him! LOL They are very helpful because I am forced to look at them because of their prominent location (such as ON the refrigerator! LOL)

  5. booknaround says:

    I have ongoing lists to remind me which room or space I am working on decluttering next. It helps break it down into smaller bits so that means I’m more likely to get it accomplished.

  6. I would be lost without my post-it notes! My list is always on a section of the kitchen counter we call “central command”… phone, calendar, etc. all live there. Your last rule, be patient with yourself, may be the most important one of all. Have a great week and I hope you’re enjoying the park or beach right now.

  7. Trish says:

    I love hearing about your progress! You’re inspiring me to take a look around my own house.

    To-Do lists. I’m tempted to post one by my back door. I have several things I need to remember for this coming week and I think if I keep my list anywhere else, I’ll forget. Sometimes I’ll also put a post-it on my pillow so that I see it before I go to bed. Ugh–and yes. That ongoing thing. It really is a neverending process!!

    Goals for November? I really want to start working out most mornings. Meaning getting my booty out of bed much earlier and heading to the gym. Hope you have a great week!!

  8. Bree @The Things We Read says:

    Oh Natasha you are doing so well! Wow such self observation. I love it. I’m a huge to-do list person. I make them all the time and have to write it down as soon as I think of something otherwise I’ll forget. I make the best list at work, whether I’m busy or slow. My server pad always has a list going. My favorite spot to leave my list so I look at it all the time is kitchen table or counter. The kitchen timer thing I learned a long time ago. Isn’t it great? Totally motivates me. Got my kids doing the same thing. I love that you’ve finally doing your decluttering project. I know you’ve been working on starting it for awhile. Doesn’t it make you feel good?

    Thanks for reminder about NANoWriMo. I’ve been wanting to write. I’ll be on a beach for 2 of those weeks and what a perfect time to start writing. A notebook from Mexico can be my souviner.

  9. readerbuzz says:

    You go, girl. I’m filled with admiration for your persistence with this project.

    readerbuzz.blogspot.com

  10. joyweesemoll says:

    Sounds like you’re doing some wonderful things with your time and space. I’m doing NaNoWriMo! I was just working out my schedule today, and I’m trying to put most things off until December because not much else is going to get done in November.

  11. heidenkind says:

    It sounds to me like you’ve accomplished a lot! I don’t even fold my laundry :p

  12. Beth F says:

    I got stalled on my declutter project — but I always consider it a kind of winter thing. So maybe after daylight savings time ends I’ll be more motivated.

  13. Athira says:

    I’m glad your happiness project is going well! I have been doing some decluttering for the best part of last week (it certainly IS a daily process), but most days, I just barely get time to do it. I need to make time for this.

  14. My sister got me the cutest to-do-list hanger thing, which I’ve put up next to my door. Now I add tasks to my list as I think of them, and that helps me keep track of what needs to get done. It’s not perfect, but it’s at least forcing me to keep everything all in one place.

  15. I love using the kitchen timer! I use it for mundane tasks. Usually I’ll use it for 30 minutes of a chore I hate and then reward myself with 30 minutes of reading.

  16. Trisha says:

    I really need to follow your lead and get on top of my own happiness project!

  17. “Cull. Rearrange. Repeat.” is such good advice. We did a bit of that when we moved in August, but it’s something that I need to keep doing so that it’s not so overwhelming the next time we move.

  18. livritome says:

    Good work! You put your finger on it — some of these “projects” are more of life-long habits/practices. Clutter will always build up unless you have established a place for everything, and discarded things along the way — or refused to let them enter the home in the first place. I’ve been using this cool tool to keep organized with daily/monthly tasks and goals and it is working for me! http://www.bulletjournal.com. I’m also practicing inbox zero which is helping tremendously. Remember, do the most important things first! L.

  19. Pingback: November’s Happiness Project: Food and Gratitude | 1330v

  20. I love the kitchen timer idea. I use to do it with blogging. I would set one hour for visiting and commenting, one hour for blogging and one hour book club stuff. As soon as I stopped doing it evertyhing fell apart. I need to do it again. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

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