Igor Lanko's avatar Igor Lanko

How to do less house work and be happy

I was listening to “Your Estimates Suck” episode of the “Rework” podcast and it got me thinking—I can fix time in the daily tasks too, not just software.

If you’re not familiar, Ryan Singer wrote a cool book on the product development methodology they use (which I’m a big fan of) called “Shape up”. So in this episode they talk about not doing estimates and instead using appetites (goals that would be nice) and restricting the time they allow themselves to spend on those appetites.

Now, take home chores as an example of one of the things that get out of hand often. I don’t know about you, but if there’s a loose door handle I notice while vacuuming, it won’t leave me alone. And frankly that’s not a good side if you’re coming from the flexible scope perspective. It is dangerous as it may leave you in “almost done” state for too long.

So one way to combat such habits is to actually limit the time instead of focus on the scope.

Loose screw or dust on the old cabinet that you rarely use? Cool, write it down, we’ll fix it later. We have 25 minutes left.

I haven’t tried it yet, but I tried everything but this and it made me miserable, and tired—but with a clean house and no other planned tasks done in a day.

Fix the time, don’t focus on the scope.

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