Author Topic: Do the jobs ever all get done?  (Read 3275 times)

iltpf

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Do the jobs ever all get done?
« on: January 07, 2018, 05:12:26 AM »
Hi all, I've got a young baby in the house and also a reasonably-sized list of jobs that "need" doing. As you can imagine, this is a relatively stressful combination! I do put need in quotes because some of them aren't strictly necessary - for example, I purchased an alarm system in the January sales but haven't installed it yet. However, the house has been without an alarm for years and we're not planning any long stays away from the house any time soon. So I could put this off indefinitely and not really suffer in my life.

The reason I'm posting is to ask is if other people ever find a point (either before or after FIRE) when the one-off jobs are all done and it's just the regular chores (including things like maintenance of things you already own) to do?

I'm currently considering taking a week off from work to pretty much complete the list of jobs that I currently have - I did the same thing before the baby came and it was a great week and I slashed my to-do list right down, including knocking off all of the important / urgent ones. But if I take another week off now and finish off the rest of my current job list... will I really be finished, or will I just feel a bit freer for a little while and soon enough have another list built up? I suppose my fundamental question is - should I earnestly aim to complete the list and keep it at near-enough 0 from now on, or should I learn to accept that "present me" will always have some jobs to do in my future and never be entirely free of the tyranny of the thought of jobs currently incomplete?

onemorebike

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 05:48:25 AM »
It is your to do list, right? :)

I've got two little ones, a spouse and a ft job. I've just wrapped up my third major house project this year (bathroom remodel, small basement renovation, and fence built). When I was reflecting on the last year and thinking about how I envisioned the next year(s) I made the decision to end the projects all together. To me this doesn't mean I don't swap the batteries in the smoke detector but I it means I stop sitting around observing my already beautiful life and looking for ways to "improve" it. I mean, you've gone all this time without an alarm system, why do you need one now? A little stoicism never hurt anyone. :)

 I'm trying to use the recovered time to consciously get down on the ground, get eye to eye with my kids, and play, read, talk about anything they want to share. It has been pretty great so far. YMMV

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Zamboni

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2018, 06:21:59 AM »
I don't think they ever really do . . . I'll think I'm in a lull and then the dog will wake up with an eye infection that leads to an unexpected trip to the vet and a week of bribing the dog to hold still for eye drops.

These routine things are part of the joy of life, though.

Agent Rosenflower

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 06:25:59 AM »
In my experience, no, the jobs donít all get done while you have a baby. You might need to lower your expectations. My husband and I are both busy bees (OK, borderline workaholics) and used to be really on top of everything around the house. After we had our daughter that all ended. Sheís one now. YMMV, but we can each stay on top of one or two general categories of chores and thatís it. We outsourced the cleaning and yardwork - anti-Mustachian, but worth it right now for us.Then I make sure everyone eats and the finances are handled. He keeps the house from descending into chaos and entropy. The rest of the time weíre either working or parenting. On the weekends we try to give each other a few hours of free time so we stay sane.

BlueMR2

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 06:39:14 AM »
If the jobs ever all get done I sure don't know about it...  2 adults, no children, and it feels like we're barely able to keep the roof from caving in on us most of the time...  Jobs keep piling up on us faster than we can do them and eventually I cave and hire extra help to get things back under control.

hdatontodo

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2018, 07:07:39 AM »
Re alarm

I have a rule I do not buy items for a project without having a firm project start work date.

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Cranky

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2018, 07:40:15 AM »
No. Children are the force behind entropy.

Laura33

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2018, 08:18:32 AM »
Nope.  My ability to imagine cool things Iíd like to do is exceeded only by my ability to procrastinate getting them done.

Last year, we finally got the garage Iíve wanted for 12 years, and I said, thatís it, thatís the last big thing for the house.  Then this winter, DH decided it was time to finish returning the first floor trim to stain-grade.  And now itís 1 degree out, and the house cannot get above 62, so DH went out and bought a FLIR camera attachment for his phone to spot the trouble spots (dude, I have been telling you for years itís the joist space), and now we need to rip out the baseboards and plaster behind it and see what the heck we can do to get some insulation and air barrier in there.  Oh, and Iíd really like some raised beds, so the damn rabbits donít eat all my strawberries, since DH likes strawberry jam so much.  And letís not even talk about the fallen-down trellis that the prior owner let get Jumanji-level overgrown and that Iíve been avoiding for, oh, 14 years.

Obviously, only the insulation is truly necessary.  But we have spare cash and imaginations and love our house, so I think it is pretty natural to continue to think of ways we can tweak and improve it.

Of course, you can minimize some of that by buying a newer home, too.  ;-). I love old houses, so it really is a labor of love for me.  But, you know, you have to adjust your demands and expectations based on what else is going on in your life.  We did basically nothing except maintenance and the periodic window upgrade for a good decade there while the kids were young and our jobs were demanding.  Now the kids are more self-sufficient, and so my mind is naturally filling up that newly-found empty space with all those thoughts that were deferred ó but itís still limited by the job thing.  Once the job goes away, there will probably be a whole new list of stuff I want to do that I donít have time to think of now.  And again, that doesnít bug me, because I love my house, and DIY is a better way to spend my time than flopping in my recliner or going to the mall, you know?

Tl;dr:  No, the job list never gets done.  But it feels significantly less overwhelming when you donít have small-kid duties on top of everything else.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2018, 08:27:06 AM »
It gets easier as the kids get older, and IMO, the list of jobs never goes away. I consider myself super productive, and once one set of chores goes away, I dream up other things that need to be done. I'm pretty organized & get a lot done, but there is always more to do. I'd be pretty bored if there wasn't. That said, it doesn't mean I always need to be working on the jobs every day. Some weeks I just make sure the house is clean & there's food to eat. Other weeks, I tackle more challenging projects.

I'll say that the least objectively productive I've ever been was when we had a young baby (and then, two). I outsourced cleaning, yard work, and we ate out quite a bit. Now being more mustachian. I'm unclear how I'd do in that phase of life, and whether I'd be able to cut back on at least one of those. But, survival was pretty much our top goal.

Maenad

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2018, 12:34:37 PM »
My parents are 76 and 80 and still have projects and jobs around the house/yard.

So no, there will always be something. Best to sit back and enjoy the process. :-)

onemorebike

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2018, 01:07:57 PM »
My parents are 76 and 80 and still have projects and jobs around the house/yard.

So no, there will always be something. Best to sit back and enjoy the process. :-)





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Noodle

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2018, 01:33:11 PM »
Given that entropy exists, and children seem to exist to accelerate it, you will always have certain projects underway. I do think you can prune that list way back while the children are young (and perhaps forever, given your preferences)...for instance, use that four-quadrant chart that floats around with urgent-not urgent on one axis and important-not important on the other. Dump all the "not important projects" (and don't add more) and figure out the most efficient and satisfying way to knock out the important ones, whether that's a week off of work, outsourcing, or picking away at it gradually. Maybe in your circumstances, the occasional "work week" IS the best way to get things done.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 04:29:04 PM »
No.  Like @Laura33 I can imagine more ideas than I can ever accomplish.  I could go on optimizing forever.  So no, it never gets done, I just got better at prioritizing is all. 

cdttmm

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 04:51:32 AM »
If the jobs ever all get done I sure don't know about it...  2 adults, no children, and it feels like we're barely able to keep the roof from caving in on us most of the time...  Jobs keep piling up on us faster than we can do them and eventually I cave and hire extra help to get things back under control.

Same here. Of course the last thing we hired extra help to do was install a garage door opener and they botched the job so badly it probably would have been better to put it off and just do it ourselves one day in the distant future...

FLBiker

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 07:40:32 AM »
Never gets done.  And realizing that (and therefore giving myself permission to have undone items on my to do list) has been very freeing. :)

Prairie Stash

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Re: Do the jobs ever all get done?
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2018, 08:55:45 AM »
No, the jobs are never done. I focus on the jobs that reduce future work first, I keep pretending it will free time in the future but I find I fill the void pretty easily.

I second the previous poster about not purchasing items (even on sale) unless you plan on using it immediately. The worst state of a project is half done, it means you wasted time getting stuff purchased and partially done but you get none of the benefits. In your case you have an alarm that's going obsolete cluttering your house. In 2-3 years time you could have bought an even better alarm for less, if it sits around you effectively overpaid on the system.

For the mathematically inclined, remember the time value of money. If you buy something for $100 and don't use it, you could have invested the money instead and earned $7, in the market (while retaining the $100 as well to purchase the item with in one years time). Every year an item sits in storage, it costs you, a sale price quickly becomes irrelevant over the long term.

Buying something on sale for a mythical future where you have free time, that's a folly we all have made at some time.