Day 97 – Task Scheduling

Worn Out

I wasn’t expecting too much from today. I was up till 2am sifting through photos, and I didn’t want to let my wake-up time slide too much, especially since I need to be perky at 7am tomorrow as well.

Who knew sorting 1500 photos down to the best 300, and then cropping and scaling them for Facebook was an 8 hour job?!

In the end I dragged myself from bed at about 9:30, spent a half hour on the computer before finding the shower, and then another half hour before heading for my massage appointment.

Small tip: if you do any kind of travel for work, try to schedule a massage for after you return. You’d be surprised how many knots and impingements lugging bags through air travel induces!

Add-on small tip: if you are part of the staff at a substantial birthday party, defer the massage until you get through that as well.

Pro-tip for experts: schedule two separate massages; one after the flight, and then another one after constructing, running and deconstructing the party.

I Don’t Feel Like Doing

I had brought a coffee home after my massage, and was ready to spend the rest of the day in front of the computer, delving into Javascript, Razor and MVVM until my brain gave out.

I had a slice of bread with some sprinkles with my coffee, and I got started.

It was that kind of day.

And then I started to feel guilty about the state of the house. You see, preparing for a major party leaves a certain amount of wreckage in your personal life in the lead-up.

The vacuuming can wait… because the final party prep comes first.

That ironing board can stay in the living room, because there’s a few shirts there that still need ironing… after the party is over.

The washing can wait, because really, I still have 2 completely unused pairs of underwear… after the party will be soon enough.

I blame my plummeting blood-sugar, but it just reached the point where I had to do a few chores. Just a few… to make that itching feeling in my brain go away. No, I can give it up any time I want. Honestly.

Chore Scheduling

And I’m not sure if the following is going to make me sound a little insane. Or if perhaps you can relate. There must be other people doing the same. I suspect at least Randall Munroe does the same based on one of his early xkcd comics.

Whenever I have a bunch of tasks to do, I instinctively start sorting and scheduling them for maximum multitasking efficiency.

I have two loads of washing to do; each takes about 55 minutes on the usual cycle, and it takes about 5-10 minutes to hang a load out, so I can fit two 45 minute tasks alongside the washing.

But before I do the washing, I should get the current washing off the drying rack so that I can move it out of the living room, because it needs a vacuum. Otherwise I’d have to defer the vacuuming till everything is dry again. I start folding all the currently dry clothing first and putting it in a basket to carry to the bedroom.

Okay, there are a few un-ironed shirts on hangers as well; I hang those in the wardrobe first. As I walk to the other side of the house I spot a few things on the floor that will get in the way of the vacuuming, so I put those on the bed/away as I walk past to streamline the later chores now.

This takes me past the study twice where I briefly stop each way for an ongoing intermittent IM conversation with a friend on her study break (I am assuming). I also open a few tabs for topics that came to mind to check later, as I was folding the laundry.

On my way in the living room I consider the pile of boxes that landed in the kitchen after the party. I have to move those to vacuum, but nowhere to put them now. I’ll defer that until the living room is done, then they can sit there once it’s already clean.

Next up, I fold away the drying rack and put it in the hallway. Then the ironing board goes back into the laundry on its hook. And on my way back the vacuum cleaner comes along… I like it when I can chain the trips between rooms so that putting something away combines with bringing something back the other way. Traveling Salesman Problem FTW!

Vacuuming the living room doesn’t take very long. Right afterwards I put back the drying rack for the load of laundry that is nearing the end of its cycle, as well as finding all the boxes in the kitchen a spot on the carpet.

And then the first load gets hung out.
And the second one goes into the machine.

Which also means I can now put the clothes basket back in the bathroom… up the hallway, and back down. Nothing to take back on my return trip. 😦 It combines with another IM message though. Oh, and cancelling my Pump class at the gym; I should not wreck all the good work the massage did by lifting weights straight afterwards.

Before moving on to the kitchen floors, I briefly detour into unpacking the dishwasher. The dishwasher and the cupboard for the plates are about a Tai-Chi-lunge-distance apart… which is the quickest way to move the contents from one to the other. And presumably good exercise?

Doing the rest of the floors takes about half the remaining washing-load-time.

And somewhere along the way I manage to gruffly schedule dinner plans around Abbey taking the dog to the vet. Both the gruff and the dinner plans are precipitated by the realisation that I haven’t had any food since my noontime breakfast of a slice of bread. Oh, and a coffee (~500kJ for the coffee, 1000kJ for the bread).

With all the clothing hung out, and some Noodle Hut eaten, I feel a lot better. Also, the house is now mostly tidy and sorted.

Yes, the inside of my brain is probably an OCD factory.
No, it works fine that way, thanks for asking.

Not that hard

After doing this task scheduling as long as I can remember, it’s almost instinctive. Writing out what I did took more thinking than actually doing it.

It doesn’t always go equally well; I get a special kick out of the days when all the tasks that involve moving between places just neatly dovetail into each other like the ironing board and the vacuum cleaner did today.

And sometimes plans need to change on the fly. When gardening is involved, the weather can nudge the plans around, causing some half-way re-scheduling. Plans are only perfect until the moment you start executing them, and the Real WorldTM happens to them.