Community Roundup: Get More Done, Plus Most Dreaded Chores

How to tackle your to-do list and get through your most hated chores

Lately, I’ve been wondering if I could be doing a better job of managing my time. Because I work from home, the boundary between work and home can sometimes get blurred, and I find myself working on weekends. I told myself that it’s because I take on so many assignments, but could it also be that I’m not making the most of my workday?

On the Finding Your Best Life boards this week, iVillage member art4sol asked the community for advice on how to get more done. Suspecting that she is not the most organized, she has started using a to-do list and a timer to help her keep track of her time.

Member kika.fleur, who is well-read on the subject, says while some experts recommend tackling the most difficult tasks first, others claim that getting the easy stuff out of the way helps us prepare for the more complicated to-dos. Her solution: Every morning, she reviews her chores and prioritizes them based on her energy level. “I work better in the late morning and afternoon, so earlier in the morning I tend to pick easier tasks that I can get out of the way quickly without having to think too much, and save the ones that need more focus and time for later in the day,” she explains.

I know that I’m better at focusing in the morning than in the afternoon. That’s when my attention drifts and I start looking for ways to distract myself, like checking the mail, playing with my dog or annoying my husband, who also works from home. Some research suggests that mini breaks help us be more productive, but obviously that depends on how long it takes to return to your desk. Still, I try not to feel too bad about it. Other health studies say that standing up many, many, many times during the day helps overall health (not to mention one’s figure).

How do you stay focused and productive at work? Need some ideas? Check out iVillage’s advice on how to perform well at work without losing your sanity.

Speaking of losing your mind, iVillagers elsewhere on the boards this week are talking about the household chores that stress them out the most. Laundry, cooking and mopping earned top spots in most dreaded tasks, with dishes, dusting and cleaning the bathroom not far behind. 

“Cooking is the one chore I don't always feel like doing, and if it were me alone, I'd do a lot of frozen microwave dinners,” says dlandry1.

I wish I had only one chore I don’t feel like doing. Cooking, for me, though, is cathartic. I love trying new recipes, adding my own twists and marveling at how delicious unexpected pairings like goat cheese and prunes are. Of course, I don’t have kids that I had to serve food to three times a day -- and, happily, my husband will try anything I put in front of him. Though I can tell he’s really not into my newfound love of Brussels sprouts.

For cmkarla, her most-hated household chore is dusting. “Oh, to me, I would rather do ten loads of laundry than dust!” she says.   

As with most responsibilities, I find the anticipation to be worse than the actual event. I dread cleaning so much that when I actually go to do it, I realize it isn’t all that bad. The only problem with that is, my house doesn’t get cleaned as often as it should.

What household chore stresses you out the most? Talk about it on the boards, or chime in below!

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