I recently received Mrs Dunwoody's Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping. The first chapter begins by recommending various means to instil structure in one's efforts to housekeep - for example, creating a routine and planning one's day. Today, I decided to try Mrs. Dunwoody's Notes for Planning a Superior Day. I hope to put some of these ideas into practice, and over the course of the day, reflect on and refine the plan.
So her first suggestions is to "make a plan for your day". Doing so will apparently assist me in finding opportunities rather than dealing with problems. Sounds like a good idea. As she recommended, I created a general schedule for the day and some major things I'd like to accomplish, some of which include achieving long-term goals. "Each day you need to have a destination in mind," says Mrs Dunwoody.
- A general schedule
Do dishes (Deferred)
Have breakfast (done)
Feed dog, outside cats (done)
Feed chickens, collect eggs (done)
Spiritual obligations - prayer and reading (done)
Before evening, 5pm
Cook and eat lunch (done)
Pick strawberries (done, after 5pm)
Water plants, trees (done, after 5pm)
Outline thesis, work on internship blogs (Deferred)
Follow up on bills/purchases/returns (Deferred)
Spend time with Kibomi (done)
Spiritual obligations - prayer (Deferred)
Do dishes (Deferred)
Before bedtime, 10pm
Cook and eat dinner
Read for thesis
Read for pleasure
Spiritual obligations - prayer and reading
Some of the long-term goals above include my thesis, internship work and spiritual obligations.
I think my destination today will be a place where I have some outline of a thesis, perhaps a completed internship blog, a sense of well-being spiritually and physically.
Another idea she presents for a superior day is the importance of concentration - taking uninterrupted time to complete a task. Also, do not procrastinate. Apparently Emerson once said, "Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life". The last couple of suggestions she offers is to "strive for excellence and not perfection" and to "never lose sight of the big picture".
Before I head off to tackle a few more morning chores, these words by Baha'u'llah, "May each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday". I think this morn is already shaping up to be better than yesterday's!
So what did I learn from my experiment above? Don't do outdoor chores in mid-afternoon summer weather. Dishes are best done in the morning. Factor in family. I'll try this again tomorrow, but perhaps less publicly :) Learning, slowly but surely.