Making a point to Power Hour

When I redid my entire Google calendar schedule — which is a beautifully organized symphony of colour and alarms and recurring events — I added in two Power Hours a week: one on Tuesday morning, one on Thursday morning. Both from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Those days were precise because C is picked up for preschool around 8:30 on those two days. D is already at school. Darling Husband would either be sleeping or not yet home from work. I would have a full hour, uninterrupted, to choose to not work and get household-y things done.

(Sidebar: Gretchen Rubin, one of my favourite authors, invented the Power Hour to tackle annoying tasks that could be done at any time and therefore she kept putting off. In theory, I should probably use this time to do tasks like addressing cards and de-cluttering closets. But in this very chaotic stage of life, basic house-tidying is probably more necessary.)

It was a perfect plan!
But …
I wasn’t doing them! 

The trouble is, I always feel like every second of the day is devoted to the kids or my day job (freelance journalist and columnist) or my blog-job (uh, not as much as it should — sorry, guys) or the novel I’m desperately writing because IT MY TURN TO GET A BOOK PUBLISHED, DAMMIT.
I’m not prioritizing my Power Hour like I planned. It gets skipped almost every time, or filled with a single activity like running errands … or I just end up working. #facepalm
But when I DO the actual Power Hour, it’s fantastic — really and truly. I booked myself a special one-off Power Hour last Monday morning because my dad and stepmom were due to arrive around lunchtime, and I got SO. MUCH. DONE.
(There is nothing like the frantic pre-company tidy to get your house in awesome shape, am I right?)
I ran around the top level making all of the beds, picking up laundry, tossing C’s dollhouse pieces back into their bin, clearing off the top of my dresser (Christmas gifts in their store bags + empty boxes for wrapping aforementioned Christmas gifts), and tidying the bathroom.
I zoomed around the main level picking up toys, sweeping, wiping surfaces, straightening couch pillows, and clearing all of the crap off the counters. I even used the stainless steel spray on the fridge, which I never think of slash bother to do.
The basement was mostly tidy from Sunday’s efforts, but I picked up the few toys that were scattered around made sure the bathroom was still clean. 
In about an hour, I had essentially made the ENTIRE HOUSE look 100% better than it had. That is the power of the Power Hour, people. One hour!
The best part? I felt so much better! It was a rush to get so much done, so quickly, and it felt good to have taken care of all of the niggling things that make me twitch (like crap on my dresser, and toys all over C’s floor). Every time I saw those clean spaces, I felt a sense of calm.

But you know, God forbid I learned from that and KEPT IT UP.

I, of course, missed my Thursday Power Hour. But! I kept the following Tuesday Power Hour and even took a couple actual photos to document one of the (many) messes I cleaned up.

This was our dining room. Welp. I know, right?

I’d done a sewing marathon on Sunday afternoon, kind-of-not-really tidied it up so we could eat dinner there on Sunday evening, and then resumed the mess on Monday while I sewed a new dress for C to wear to her special day at preschool on Tuesday.

So by Tuesday morning, this is exactly what our dining room looked like. It was bad.

I whipped around making piles and then ran up and down both flights of stairs putting everything away. That’s essentially tidying up in a nutshell: piles + running.

Here’s how it looked when I was done …


Not only did I get rid of all of the crap that didn’t belong (like my frigging serger, which really NEVER belongs in a dining room — even in this house), but I also removed some of the decor. With all of the Christmas stuff right next-door in the living room, it was just … too … much.

I tucked photo frames away and even removed my cool “Give us this day our daily bread” platter that I bought at the thrift store recently because it reminded me of my beloved LIW (Laura Ingalls Wilder). With all of the Christmas chaos, it feels good to have an empty-ish space.

(I also tidied the kitchen and the stairs — mounts of crap waiting to find its home — during Tuesday’s Power Hour, but didn’t stop for photos).

As always, I feel super inspired after a Power Hour but then lose steam, so I’m hoping actually posting about it makes me follow through with regular ones. By scheduling specific times to run around like a maniac doing quick-tidies and putting crap away that would otherwise sit around, I suppose the idea is that I’ll be less chicken-with-my-head-cut-off the rest of the time.

At least, that would be nice!

Tell me! Do you Power Hour? If you want to start, what kinds of tasks would you like to tackle?

So what do you think?

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