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what do you cut out of your 'to do' list?

 
steward
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You're living the lifestyle that supports your values, including things like:
  • growing food (even herbs in a pot in the window)
  • composting food waste
  • making food from scratch...some or all of the time
  • hanging up clothes to dry
  • maybe biking or walking or taking the bus instead of a car
  • plants or the garden need watering
  • animals need care
  • something needs mending

  • You're reading permies, you know the drill:  the list is almost endless.

    These things are cool. Soul-satisfying. And, whelp, they take time.

    What do you cut out of your 'to do' list to get to the things that are most important to you?

    Or maybe you out-source something - like paying a neighbor mow or clean for you.


     
    pollinator
    Posts: 630
    Location: Southern Oregon
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    Having recently moved to a new property, I'm cutting myself some slack on trying to water mostly with grey water or rain water. I just don't have enough systems in place, and I don't want to lose the trees/plants already here. Having a garden is so important to me, I feel like if I couldn't it would depress and discourage so much, it's just not worth it.

    I've always been better at driving less, then anything else. I won't go places with others because of my anxiety. I have to have a way out, if I need to leave, I need to leave now. So relying on others, or public transportation just doesn't work for me.

    My big priorities are growing food, making food from scratch, my family, our health, sometimes things have to give, such is life.
     
    master pollinator
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    Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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    Because I'm home only part of the week now, I have given up chickens.
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 139
    Location: Western central Illinois, Zone 6a
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    Through years of practice in a previous occupation I use a prioritization list along the lines of
    -Things that must be done (Things will die if it doesn't get done)
    -Things I need to do
    -Things that I'd like to do

    When I started making lists like this I had a huge list of things I thought "had" to be done. I soon realized it was impossible to do them all. I had people telling me I "needed" to do other things. Turned out those things were never asked about again and never needed. I never did them, and no one cared.
    So what really, truly, absolutely MUST be done? Livestock does need to be tended. That has to be done. The grass can go another day/week/month if needed. We live in the country and I really don't care if my in laws look down their nose at my less than perfectly manicured lawn. I'm growing it for hay mulch anyway.

    In terms of things that I used to do and don't now: I don't stay up as late online watching YouTube and Netflix. I try to catch a half hour a day or so, but really just cutting out the "entertainment" frees up a scary amount of time.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
    steward
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    Stacy, so it sounds like you are watering with the hose (whatever water source that is for you), not buckets of graywater (or whatever manual graywater system), to save time. Is that correct?

    Tyler, not having chickens sounds a bit sad, but oh boy, do I get it! That sounds like a wise choice to me.

    Caleb, your lists and categories/priorities strike me as quite wise also. I think giving up entertainment makes a whole lot of sense, too. And some times it *is* a scary amount of time!

    Thanks for all the tips. I'd love to hear more!
     
    steward
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    I like prioritization as a way to at least put the list in an order that I can work through.  I don't follow it always, sometimes it more fun to build a gate than it is to troubleshoot the tractor.

    I've learned that you don't have to get all the improvements done in one summer/year/semester.  Some can wait.

    Working on ways to make the job go faster in the future is also often worthwhile.  An hour of innovation could make that weekly task two minutes faster.  In 30 weeks your time is paid off.  Gotta haul chicken food out to the coop.  Can we fit two buckets in the coop so the hauling only has to be done half as often?  Can we make a chicken waterer that won't freeze in the winter requiring multiple refreshings daily (Yes).  Can we pick certain crops on a regular schedule so we process/store them efficiently?  Can we do all our equipment maintenance on the same day?  Can we put a seedling heat mat under the chicken nest box so we don't have to collect eggs 4x a day on frigid winter days?

    Often, like Caleb said, there are things you think you need to do but if you skip them (or do them half as frequently) it'll be just fine.  Dusting the house...  Probably can be done less frequently during the busy season.  Feeding the dog...  Maybe not.

    My superpower at my last job was procrastination.  Many times there was a project or big task that my boss wanted done.  I didn't deliberately not do it, but if I waited until it got closer to the deadline, often the big wigs would change their mind and decide the job didn't need to be done after all.  Hee hee.
     
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