A Job Jar

I need to treat myself like I’m one of my students if I’m ever going to get anything done. Last night, while laying in bed wondering about why I’m so unproductive, it dawned on me that I should start a “job jar”. Do you know of these things?

Here’s what you do:

  1. Write down the things you need to do on small pieces of paper.
  2. Put these pieces of paper in a jar.
  3. Pull out a piece of paper.
  4. Complete the task that is written on the piece of paper.
  5. Do something with the piece of paper, after the task is done.

It took me until about 9:30 tonight to actually sit down and put this job jar together. It then took me another 40 minutes to stop checking Facebook, BuzzFeed, Twitter, and the various media aggregators I have. Anyway, I finally pulled out a task: “Clean kitchen counter tops”.

I used an old mixed nuts container to create my job jar. I used the pink papers from the stack of papers you see on the windowsill to write the jobs down on.
I used an old mixed nuts container to create my job jar. I used the pink papers from the stack of papers you see on the windowsill to write the jobs down on.

I cleaned the kitchen counter tops, and then decided that I should add, “Clean small kitchen appliances” to the job jar. I didn’t have a job in the job jar for “Add new jobs to the job jar”, so I sort of broke a rule and wrote “Clean small kitchen appliances” on a small piece of paper and then put it in the jar.

I decided that I have enough time to do another job, because I tried to break the tasks down into 20-minute activities to help me manage my ever-wandering mind. I pulled out “Clean kitchen counter tops” two more times. I figured it would be ridiculous to clean the kitchen counter tops that I just finished cleaning, so I put it back in the job jar (it’s a task that I’ll have to do again). I then pulled out “Work on blog for 20 minutes”, so that’s what I’m doing.

See how much more interesting your life can become if you have a job jar?

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