My Blog List

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The importance of structure

I am one of those people who, without structure in their lives, falls apart and feels like bleh. Upon finding myself bidding farewell to the student life, the lack of structure has lent itself to feelings of unproductiveness. I learned to give myself a break and say "You know, Rachel, you probably were productive. And it is OK for you not to be 100%productiveeverysinglemomentoftheday."

However the time has come for structure to play a more vital role in my life. I wanted to feel like I have accomplished something that day, not just know. In school I had very specific expectations and a very rigid structure. It consisted of something like:
1) Go to class a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h (yes, I often had 7-8 classes. Music student.
2) Practice 3 hours a day on top of ensemble playing time
3) Eat food
4) Teach X number of students
5) Do homework...
6) Play in this concert
7) Attend that recital

My day would often look like this as an undergraduate:
Practice from 8-10
Class from 10-11
Class from 11-12
Eat lunch 12-12:30
Do homework from 12:30-1
Quintet practice from 1-2
Class from 2-3
Practice from 3-4
Flute lesson from 4-5
Flute class from 5-7.

Although it was stressful at times, looking back, the vast majority of my time at BYU was fun. I felt so accomplished after I walked out of the practice room for the last time that day. I mean, look at that schedule. No wonder I felt productive.

So I devised a reward system to help me accomplish more/feel more productive. It consists of Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Quarterly tasks. There are also small, medium, big, and large tasks.

Daily Tasks:             Reward: Watch a TV show
  1. Write in Journal
  2. Read scriptures
  3. Do dishes
  4. Clean 50 things
  5. Small thing #1
  6. Small thing #2
  7. Practice flute or piano
  8. One weekly task
  9. Singing time OR small thing #3 OR another weekly task OR medium thing OR a big thing OR monthly task OR Dinner
  10. Singing time OR Small thing #4 OR Medium thing OR another weekly task OR a big thing OR monthly task OR Dinner
  11. Singing time OR Small thing #5 OR Medium thing OR another weekly task OR a big thing OR monthly task OR Dinner
  12. Organize/declutter one part of the house or other pertinent item 
Weekly Tasks: If I complete all the weekly tasks I get 1 Goodwill point
  1. Vacuum
  2. Clean bathroom
  3. Write blog
  4. Dust
  5. Do laundry
  6. Fold laundry
  7. One monthly task
  8. One monthly task
  9. Go grocery shopping
  10. Clean mirrors
  11. Meals to make for the following week
  12. One Medium task

Monthly tasks: If I complete all my monthly tasks and weekly tasks: we go out to dinner OR SOMETHING ELSE I CHOOSE
  1. Vacuum cushions
  2. Budget for the month
  3. Pay Rent
  4. Monthly report for work
  5. Sweep porch
  6. Buy music for students: 
  7. Clean freezer
  8. Clean fridge
  9. Something quarterly
  10. Spot clean carpet
  11. Visit Diane
  12. Visit Jennifer
  13. Visit Maxine
  14. Visit Kelly
  15. Email Family
  16. Pay RFF
  17. Write tithing and fast offering check
  18. Write check for ATT bill
  19. Visiting teaching report
  20. Organize emails
Smalls tasks include: 
    1. Clean off rust stain on bathtub
    2.  Make flip chart for Stars were gleaming
    3. Renew Costco membership
    4. organize food in lower cupboard
    5. Ect (I currently have over 30)
Medium tasks include: (reward: 1 goodwill point)
    1. Take in heals to get fixed
    2. Clean oven WELL
    3. make rhythm game with dice
    4. ect. (currently over 15)
Medium tasks are ones that might take a bit more effort and planning or ones I dread doing. 

Big tasks include: 
    1. Digitize my pictures
    2. Digitize David's pictures
    3. Organize digital photos into years and copy them onto a CD
    4. Make 15 Christmas cards
    5. Finish quote book
    6. ect. 
These rewards include going out for ice cream, $1 from i tunes, or something similar

Large tasks include:
    1. Learn how to crochet a snowflake like Grandma--Buy something from cooking store
    2. Print new pictures and scrapbook them--buy two decorative pillows for bed
    3. Make book of wedding cards--buy a small ladle
    4. ect.
This works for me because I have a relatively large amount of free time. I only work 20 hours a week. Each goodwill point is worth one item I am allowed to buy from Goodwill. I like this system because it is flexible by allowing me to choose what I want to work on that day. If I can tell it is going to be a lousy day, I can pick easy tasks. 

Anyway, that is what works for me! 


Julie said...

That's my Rachel. :)

Nicole Wendorff said...

WOW! That was all I have to say! You are amazing! And you could probably get a second personal progress book and complete the program :) I'm thinking of trying round number 2. You are awesome Rachel!