Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Well, I'm not sure where this concept originated from or what it originally referred to, but its a great concept and one that I intend to apply it to the insurmountable job of cleaning my house.

To me, working smarter not harder means not fighting your environment. You can spend all day sweeping your floor over and over while your 1 year old throws food on it over and over or you can pick up the large pieces of food that she is in danger of putting in her mouth from the floor and save the crumb clean up until the end of the night when your children are sleeping. You can fight with your children all day long and eventually get them to pick up their toys so that they don't have to hear you say it one more time or you can periodically ask them to pick up their toys while you prepare meals and snacks for them and if they don't do it, you can do it later. You can clean your kitchen in the morning, when your kids are clammoring for their breakfast or you can clean the kitchen at night and have it ready to make breakfast first thing in the morning.

Yes, I want to instill responsibility in my children and I would like to teach them to clean up after themselves, but at the same time I have to remember that they are children, we all have bad days and it is more important to me to create a peaceful environment for us all than to fight with and nag my children until they grudgingly do what I ask them to.

If you came to my house tomorrow morning, you might ask me how I get my house so clean with 3 kids running around and I would say "I don't." You would look around you and say, "but its clean" and I would say "yes, but I did not do it with my kids running around. I did it when they were snuggled up, all warm in their beds, fast asleep and I plan on doing the same thing every night."

This might not be the best way for everyone to work smarter, not harder, but I think it will work for me. After all, I am naturally nocturnal, which is only made worse by pregnancy insomnia, and I want a clean house, but not at the expense of my sanity. So by cleaning at night, I am not missing out on sleep because I wouldn't be asleep at this time anyways, I am providing a clean environment for my kids and I am also maintaining a pleasant, calm mood in my household.


  1. I agree with this idea, but generally by the time that the kids go to bed, I'm exhausted. Herein, lies my issue-I don't want to fight my kids and I'm too tired to do it, so it doesn't get done. :) I have crumbs on my floor, stains on the carpet and my counters look like a paper mill exploded all over them, but oh well, we are happy!

  2. Kristin, I am naturally a night owl and have insomnia this pregnancy, so cleaning at night works for me. . . If you are an early riser, cleaning in the morning might work better for you. Or cleaning while the kiddos are napping. My kiddos don't usually all nap at the same time (my oldest waits until my middle child falls asleep then comes to hang out with me for some special time with mommy), so nap time is out for me. Otherwise, I'd clean at nap time and knit all night LOL. Anyways, IMO its better for your kids to have a calm, peaceful environment than a sterile one :)