How Time-Bound Chores Make Me A Better Person


A what?

A time-bound chore could be putting the chickens up at night, or feeding bottle calves, or for me, milking goats twice a day – even the kid’s naps are a time-bound chore! Those kinds of things can’t wait on you to get in the mood, you have to do them – and that’s a good thing!

One of the often bemoaned aspects of farming and homesteading, is time-bound chores. They can really interfere with social lives, and the ability to sleep in any time you want to, but personally, I love them.

I’ve found that they’re good for me, because I’ve always been a little bit of a seat-of-the-pants type. I mean, I’ve always wanted to be scheduled and make the most of my minutes, but so far, I’ve been unsuccessful in making that happen with a piece of paper telling me what to do.

Instead, my chores serve as a sort of time marker, telling me where I need to be and when.

  • They’ve taught me to be an earlier riser. If I’ve milked my goats at 6:30 in the evening, I have to be back out there at 6:30 the next morning. No ands, ifs, or buts about it. This has been good for my marriage because my husband is an early riser. I suppose that the idiom “opposites attract” really is true. 
  • They Give me time slots. Before, during, after, during, after. Those are my time slot for daily naps, and it pays to know what I can do most efficiently during each. Writing, for instance, happens during nap time, while vacuuming the floor is a between naps chore. 
  • They’ve given me predictability. As I mentioned, Farm chores, specifically milking, serve as markers for my day. I know when I have to be here, and can plan any events around it. I know that I have to be up at a certain time – and therefore go to bed at a certain time, and have dinner done at a certain time.
  • They’ve taught me self discipline. And not just in having to get out of bed. I also have to learn to say no to things that get in the way of my chores, and say yes to doing other things in a timely manner, instead of dawdling.

I think I could sum all these things up by saying that time-bound chores give me motivation to do the right things. Without outside motivation, it’s hard for me to stay focused.

What keeps you motivated?

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