I used to believe there wasn’t a point in working on my house unless I had a chunk of time to spend on it, so I could really make an impact.
I was wrong. Using Awkward Pauses to work on established routines has improved my house more than waiting for large chunks of time to open up ever did.
Here’s a story of using an Awkward Pause:
My daughter informed me that she’d like to leave for school in 12 minutes. For y’all’s sake, I took a picture of the clock and headed to get dressed.
“Getting dressed” didn’t take long since it just meant putting on yesterday’s lounge clothes.
Back in the kitchen, I turned to my half-emptied dishwasher. I finished emptying it and then reloaded it with the sink full of food storage containers Hubby had found in a bag he’d brought home from work.
I took another picture. (For you.) 7:42.
This is when the pause got really awkward. I had 8 minutes left, and the kitchen basics were done. I have TPAD (Time Passage Awareness Disorder), so I’m not good at predicting how long any given task will take, but the most obvious thing to do was start another load of laundry since it was Laundry Day. The washing machine was open, and there was a pile of dirty clothes waiting to go into it.
I put the pile into the washing machine, added my own dirty clothes (that I hadn’t gathered when the rest of the family sorted theirs the night before), and turned on the machine.
I took a terrible picture of the clock, and it said 7:45. (You’ll have to trust me.)
There were clothes in the dryer, waiting to be folded. It felt pointless to start folding with only five minutes, but they were going to have to be folded anyway. Five minutes’ head start couldn’t hurt.
My other option was five minutes of not getting anything done.
When it was time to leave for school, the level of clothes waiting to be folded had gone from this to this:
I’ve talked on and on and on around here about the value of using Awkward Pauses. I still resist them, because they’re awkward.
But my house is better off because I used this one. Just like it’s always better off when I spend an Awkward Pause getting stuff done instead of standing around feeling awkward.