what “getting things done” should look like

As evident by how many “bullet-point” type posts I write, I’m a list maker. Around five out of the seven days a week, I make a to-do list for the day. The other two days are spent finishing up the to-do list written from the previous day. It’s not uncommon for one day’s to-do list to become the next day’s to-do list.

I write my list first thing in the morning, usually while I drink coffee standing by the kitchen island. The list is broken down into a categories: housework, computer work, and errands. And yes, I’ve been known to add things to the list *after* I’ve completed them, just so I can check them off with a big ol’ “x”.

Today’s list at a glance:


But if you can see through my chicken scratch handwriting (I know, I totally write like a dude), not much as of 2pm this afternoon had been checked off. Because for every one task, three more unaccounted for chores pop up.

Things like laundering and changing the sheets after your 4 year old had a middle of the night accident. And then fitting in a doctor’s appointment because he says his ears hurt (double ear infection!), followed by waiting an hour at the pharmacy for his prescription to be filled. Or making a second trip to school because you realize your daughter forgot both her violin and school lunch, and orchestra is in an hour.

Or holding your toddler for hours without pause, because just like his big brother, he too has a fever – and the only medicine he wants is his mommy.

Earlier today, while I was simultaneously holding Paul on my hip and straining chicken stock into glass jars (which, hello, is my new party trick) and I made a comment to Michael to the effect of “this is why nothing is going to get done today”, alluding to the fact that the baby wants to be held all day long, and well, it was hindering my to-do list.

I don’t remember Michael’s exact next words, but essentially his response was something like “but holding your baby IS getting things done”.

Hoboy. Yup. Shameface is mine.

Was just reminded by my husband that even though I had a mile long to-do list today  (including the mountain of dishes behind me), holding my sick son is still considered "getting things done".

Holding my child because he’s feeling sick and wants to be comforted is top priority. Or at least should be…

Everyday these little stinkers cripple my to-do list one way or another. And every day I need to pause and remind myself that my to-do list is secondary to the 28″ main priority standing right there in front of me, with his arms open wide reaching up to me, asking me to “hold you”.

Kids. Major productivity killers.

Kids. Worth every unproductive moment.

And this is why that pile of dishes in the background most likely will still be there after dinner, only it will grow, probably filled with the remnants of take-out dinner.





  1. So so true. What a great reminder.


  2. love this.
    Pauline recently posted..Wintery Commute Home


  3. Yep. Don’t be ashamed. People are made to feel bad to stopping and taking care of our kids. If I decide that an hour of YouTube on the couch with my 9 year old is more important that folding the laundry or loading the dishwasher then so be it. She’s is warm blooded like my husband so while it is still cold I am taking advantage of her snuggles. She’s like a little heating pad and she smells really good most of the time!!

    I have an Evernote account and I am in LOVE with it!!! Now I am treating myself to the matching Evernote Moleskin notebook so I can take pics with my phone and load the hand written notes into my online account. My recipe notebook alone has been worth signing up. I like using pretty colored pens for my lists too!!

    I hope the boys are feeling better!


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