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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

TUT: Quarrels, Clutter and Priorities


A Google search of 'Tune Up' revealed the following definition:
An Adjustment for Better Functioning
A search of 'Adjustment' revealed the following:
A Small Change, A Minor Correction, A Modification

What is Tune-Up Tuesday? Find out more HERE!


Well, I’ve had a productive week! There has been so much going on lately; a combination of personal troubles, scheduling troubles, an overloaded to-do list and (I felt) some sliding priorities. This past week while I was unplugged, I really got down to business.


First, I thought about what was overwhelming me. I made a list. I listed all my thoughts of outstanding things to do, my concerns about everything, the areas I felt frustrated. I had a big list as I did a complete “brain dump” (not sure who’s term that is). I narrowed the list down to the top three things.

  • A quarrel with a friend
  • A desk hidden under clutter and filing
  • Feeling like I spend too much time cleaning


The Quarrel:

This one is quite personal so I’ll be brief: I had a quarrel with a long-time friend. It started out an innocent misunderstanding that escalated and left me very hurt. The I came across Acts 24:16 “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.” When I read that, it helped me enormously to understand what my course of action should be. It is amazing how timeless the bible can be; it is still relevant and able to help us make wise choices!

The Desk:

My desk has been an ongoing issue. I was attempting to deal with it back in February but the task was just so large and I lacked time. With two 2 year olds and a 1 year old around, it is hard to find time to deal with it all. This is one of the areas that cause me great stress because it isn’t a great environment in which to work and I always have it hanging over my head.

Assess what is there: Everything ends up on my desk. Filing, items needing repair, things to list on ebay/kijiji, office supplies, things to follow up on, letters to write, coupons, invoices to enter etc.

Make a Plan: Getting it clean won’t help. I need to develop a plan, identify why it gets this way and set up a system to avoid desk overload. Setting up a system without first dealing with everything there will not help because I can’t implement a new system with all the undealt with stuff hanging around.

Implementing the Plan:

  • Chloe had a sleepover at moms. John naps for 3 hours and plays quietly the remainder of the time (whoo hoo!) and it is a day that Jaiden isn’t here.
  • Pile everything onto my bed (may as well be comfy while I sort).
  • Make Piles: Do Today, Must File, Coupon Related, Blog Related etc.
  • Purging: I had a recycling bin there. Anything that was unneeded (grocery receipts, outdated coupons etc) were recycled immediately. I also let go of some things that I would like to do but just do not have the time right now. (i.e. write to Gymboree about the dress that the hem let go on after the first wash)
  • Action: I filled everything that didn’t need action immediately. Then I looked at what was left. I have 3 drawers under my desk. I made one my personal “getting to it/not urgent” drawer, one my coupon drawer, one my blog related drawer and then I have an inbox on my desk for DH to put invoices and such to enter. Though I haven’t yet got caught up on invoices and such, they are stacked neatly in the inbox where I plan to get to them within the next week. My desk space is cleared off with only the essentials out. Repairs now are either done immediately or have a spot in the laundry room. Ebay items are on a shelf or in a bin (both in the garage). I actually have moved my “official” desk to our upstairs office and my antique secretaire desk is more our command/supplies center downstairs now.

Now that the backlog has been taken care of, and a new system in in place, I felt an immense peace. I should take a new pic of my fabulous clean (and functioning!) workspace but my camera is downstairs and it is late. Maybe tomorrow.

Too Much Time Cleaning

The past few weeks I feel like I’ve been waking up, feeding the littles, cleaning, feeding/caring for littles, cleaning, DH comes home, we eat, I care for the littles, we watch a movie/read/computer time etc. and it is bed. Our Beautiful Calling is Not About Housework but sometimes I forget that. I’m not sure how I got off track. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t neglecting my littles but I just was feeling a little like things were starting to head in a direction that was not the one I intended.

Assess, Plan, Action:

  • I started by doing those things which needed to be done.
  • Then I thought about what I was doing and what areas seemed to take the most time. Sometimes our tasks can grow to fit the time allowance. The opposite is true as well. When we aren’t aiming for absolute perfection, we can usually fit a task into a time allotment.
  • By tackling the “must dos” for the day first thing with an allotted time frame, and with the help of a loose *revised* schedule; the past week our home has been (mostly) clean and ordered.
  • I have done many puzzles, read many books, spend time visiting my mom, played numerous games of candy land and enjoyed a whole lot of walks in the beautiful fall weather!
  • I needed a reminder that houses are ONLY tools and that family is my calling.
  • I’m a week into a new bible study on biblical parenting and it is awesome. It has been such an encouragement to me The bible is such a poignant reminder of just how important the mothering aspect of my Beautiful Calling is!!
  • This past week,  I spent hardly any time on the computer. Honestly, it didn’t make that much of a difference. What made the difference? I’m getting more done in less time by truly focusing on my priorities and letting go of perfection.


What helps you keep your priorities straight?

Do you have a tune-up you are working on or completed? Link up (directly to your post) or share a comment! If you could mention TUT and link back so others can join in too, that would be appreciated!


  1. Great post! I am dealing with mind-overload, and made a running to do list on paper yesterday.

    My priorities are messed up right now. I started working on them awhile back and got sidetracked with making it a bigger chore that what it was.
    So, it got put on the backburner.

    So much to do, so little time. Yet, I am doing things that are not eternally purposed.

    I need work. My home needs work. Etc., etc.

    Thanks for your post. I may or not write a blog post linked to yours, but this is a great help.

  2. this is a fabulous post- thank-you!


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