Tag Archives: justification

The fine art of motivation…

I could do with a firm kick up the bahookie today.  Despite going to bed at a reasonable hour and sleeping the whole night through, I woke up feeling sleepy and with absolutely no motivation whatsoever.  To do anything.  Sadly, my to do list has other ideas and I have absolutely masses that I should be getting on with.  Including writing this blog.


Therefore, my research and blog writing today will all have to do with finding motivation when you have absolutely no reserves left.  Shamelessly self serving, but as I look at it, killing two birds with one stone.

My starting point is usually why I need to do something.  I personally find that if the reason for doing something is not one I can argue with or pick holes in, then my highly developed sense of guilt will get me going and I will do it.  This is useful for cooking the evening meal and doing the laundry (especially if we are at risk of having to go naked into the community!) but not so much for pushing the vacuum around the house.  I can justify procrastination of that for a long, long time!!

why you started

So, my next step is to decide to prioritise the list.  For example, I have already decided that thoroughly cleaning upstairs and down is not going to happen today.  But the downstairs is the bit that gets seen most, so I probably need to do that.  Just in case we have anyone dropping by unannounced or something over the weekend.  Okay… motivation levels rising.

15 minutes

If that still hasn’t worked then I crack open my old favourite.  I am a huge devotee of Flylady (can be found at http://www.Flylady.net) and all she has to say about how to clean your house.  One of her watchwords is that you can do anything for 15 minutes.  Anything at all.  And she is right.  When I was working in an office, I would often say to myself “Right Clare… just work 15 minutes on this reconciliation, or this accrual journal, or this budget report” and 1 hour later (because I had got into the job and it was going well) I had finished the whole job.  Sometimes you can blow the job out of proportion in your own mind and it becomes a terrifying chore when really it will be done in 15 minutes or less.  I find this works particularly with the dishes.  No, really.  It never takes as long as you think it will.


My research has turned up some other strategies.  Including one which has made a lightbulb go off in my head.  Routine.  This website I found is written by a former professional sportsman and he said in order to be motivated to perform well, even if he was feeling a bit off, he relied on a pre-event routine.  Looking at my cleaning rota, I realise that because of other things going on in our life at the moment, the routine that had this house shining has gone by the wayside.

Time to get it back on track and fast!  Our lives are hopefully going to change dramatically in the not too distant future and I don’t want to be stressing out about the state of the house, when if I had stuck to my tried and tested routines, I would be right on top of everything still.  So, it is time to get my backside off this chair and get on with the house chores.  No matter how pointless it currently seems to be!

weekend 2

Hope this has helped you get motivated to do the one thing you are avoiding doing – imagine the great feeling you are going to have over the weekend if you have scratched the horrible job off your to do list?  There… that is another motivator!  Off to grab the vacuum and chase the dog around the house with it!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Organic food should cost LESS not MORE (something of a rant…)

Here is a mystery of the modern world… if organic farming is so good for us and it is going back to how things used to be done, why on earth is it so expensive to buy enough organic veg to actually FEED a family?!    I am not talking about the half dozen carrots, half a dozen apples, and a cabbage which some people assume is enough for a family of four.  I am talking about enough veg for everyone to get 8-10 fruit and veg a day, never mind the 5 a day we are supposed to be aiming for.

organic veg box

I have had one week of a delivery of veg, fruit and meat from a well known UK organic supplier.  Having done extensive research, I thought I had got a good deal.  I had done my sums and I thought we could afford it.  Well, even after one week, it is entirely clear to me.  We just can’t.  We have a choice of either eating like birds (which is not going to happen in a house of healthy appetites) or increasing the food budget in the house by 3 times.  We simply cannot afford that.  Needless to say, we are not having 2 weeks of the organic fruit and veg box.


I am cross.  Actually slightly more than cross.  I get that organic farming is labour intensive.  I have had an allotment.  You need sweat to get it right, with a bit of blood and tears thrown in.  But, to my simple accounting mind,  if you are not throwing expensive fertilizers or pesticides on the produce, how come it is so expensive?  I am pretty sure organic farmers still use mechanised equipment to plough the fields and furrows, just like the agribusiness farmers do, and I know that organic farmers can actually get higher yields than their non-organic counterparts.  They have a greater risk of blight and disease, but why am I, the innocent consumer, paying a premium for a risk that might not effect the farmer in the first place?

organic farming

Am I being naive here or am I missing an important part of the organic farming business model that I know nothing about?  I am pretty sure they don’t have highly paid people working in the fields weeding and harvesting.  And to be honest, labour costs have to be the only cost which is bigger for organic than for non-organic agriculturists.  I would be delighted if someone could tell me otherwise.


I think the problem comes down to what my Dad used to call “perceived market value”.  Somewhere in the late 80s at the dawn of the organic revolution, someone somewhere said to themselves “Ooh… hang on… we can charge people an absolute fortune.  There are fewer costs here, but if we charge them more, people will pay it because they want organic.”  And the really annoying thing is that people actually DID that.  We bought the hype.


Well, for my family, we are going to HAVE to go unorganic and get our vegetables at the supermarket with all their chemicals and pesticides and food miles.  Either that or attempt to start a market garden ourselves.  That might be a little much for even me to bite off and try and chew.  I really don’t wear my underpants on the outside of my trousers (despite what you may have heard!) … as long as I can grow some stuff to supplement the groceries, I will be happy.


Still cross.  But happy.