It’s very easy to forget that the r(E)volution is truly focused around building a tiny house. With life zooming by at 100mph thins comes up, topics surface, and lessons are learned. Many weeks come and go and I find myself not even taking the time to recognize how far we have come since leaving middle Georgia just after Halloween last year. For those of you who haven’t been on the entire journey let’s recap. Since Nov. 1, 2010 we have:
- Cleared 1/4 acre land
- Burned nearly 1 cord of “junk” wood
- Tilled, cultivated, and planted 2 gardens, 3 raised beds, an herb garden, and a cucumber patch (as well as helping countless others till and prep)
- Sandblasted and painted our entire 30′ trailer
- Purchased 4 windows for Tiny House
- Purchased a pocket door for the bathroom are in Tiny House
- Renovated and made livable our current residence; the Bungalow
- Harvested one flock of chickens
- Began our 3-layer chicken system including the laying hens and the meat chicks
- Began blogging for Farmers’ Almanac on the Tiny r(E)volution and simple living in general
- Began guest hosting once a month for the Chicken Whisperer
- Demolished a barn and reclaimed the yellow pine lumber
- Found out we are expecting our first child on Sept. 24
- etc, etc, etc
And now as we run head first into Spring we find ourselves anxiously preparing to begin even more projects. In future weeks we will have the land leveled and all stumps removed by a back hoe operator. The Tiny r(E)volution documentary will begin shooting. We’ll be planting our tomato and pepper patch as well as adding some edible flowers as well. We’ll undoubtedly pick up more building materials (as we find them). We are set to meet with a group of renewable energy students to talk about Tiny r(E)volution being a “living project.” And finally beginning to construct the exterior of Tiny House.
My concern though is how to stay focused. We love the Bungalow and feel as if we have ample room and amenities. Crystal is pregnant and the excitement of that adventure overcomes us more and more each day. The days will be getting longer and the temptation to grill out and drink more cold beers may fast trump clearing land, setting walls, and researching materials. In fact, the feel of the computer keyboard may become a nemesis to the feel of cool dirt. But I am pretty sure that with these 5 tips I can stay focused while also enjoying the simplicity of honest-to-goodness distraction!
Write out a daily To-Do list and plan your day. Keep a To-Do list on your computer or near your work station (or even in your back pocket or Moleskin). There’s nothing like a task list sitting next to you to keep you focused. When you have a list of the things you need to accomplish in a day, having that close to you constantly reminding you of what needs to be done is a great way of keeping on track.
Listen to the right types of music. This may sound awfully trivial but if you have ever tried to get work done while listening to Jimmy Buffett or Bob Marley you know that it is impossible. Both speak of long summer evenings and the brilliance of down time. Music can be a great way of settling into the working routine. Consider songs with driving beats and motivational lyrics. (There is NO tree I can’t cut down when blasting Metallica or even the Top Gun soundtrack!)
Apply time boxing. Instead of working at something till it is done, try working on it for a limited period, say 30 mins. There is no need to known everything about window ratings before you get up from the computer. Decide to spend 30 minutes researching at which point you move on to something different. Or what about gardening. Set a small alarm so that you spend only 45 minutes sitting in the garden enjoying the morning sun. This way, you keep your work fresh and engaging throughout the entire working day.
Find the best time to do repetitive and boring tasks. No matter how much you try to avoid it, you’re going to have to face doing things which are either repetitive or boring. For these tasks, I find it is best to choose a time in the day to work on them. I’m more awake and motivated at the start of the day, so it’s better to work on things which require brain power early. Working on mundane tasks and low-key tasks (email, RSS reading, image uploading, etc) that can be done via auto-pilot are better left towards the end of the day when I’m fatigued.
Change your mindset and make work fun. Remember simple living is all about enjoying each moment as it happens. Nothing is worth rushing or panicking over or stressing out over. Enjoy each task for what it is and where it can take you.
Did I miss anything? What do you do to stay focused this time of year? Do you often replace work with a bowl of fresh fruit and a nap in the hammock? And as always, if you enjoy this post or want to share the r(E)volution with your friends and family, click on one of the social networking buttons at the bottom of this post!