GTD for Homemakers: Avoiding “I Ought”

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31 Days to GTD for Homemakers & Homeschoolers During this 31 Days to GTD for Homemakers series, I’ll be outlining the steps and strategies to keep life – even home and family life – running without the mundane “The keys are missing!” or “I’m out of underwear!” sorts of stresses.

Though based on David Allen’s book Getting Things Done, my twist is to apply it directly to mothers at home: SAHM, WAHM, homeschooling mom, any sort of mom. We are the very heart of our home, so let’s keep the beat as regular as possible.

Previous Post: The Examined Life: Bottom-Up Management

Be intentional to get rid of guilt

Now we begin to tackle the nitty-gritty.

The first step to mastering our workflow is to gather all the incompletes in our world into one place.

As soon as we attach a “should,” “need to,” or “ought to” to an item, it becomes an incomplete in our minds and a point of potential stress.

Seeing as this is true, it behooves us to be careful about attaching “ought” statements to ideas that might occur to us. We tend to do this all the time, without realizing the pressure and anxiety we are unnecessarily burdening ourselves with. How often do we think things like

  • I really ought to organize my pantry.
  • I ought to read more to the children.
  • If I want to be a real homeschooler, I ought to do more fun projects and crafts.
  • My house ought always to be clean.


Now, organized pantries, read-to children, crafts, and a clean home are all good things, but they might be the good things crowding out the current best things.

Start where you are, without adding more pressure or guilt.

If we can learn to recognize this tendency to say “should” and stop ourselves from doing so unless we really mean it, we can cut a lot of underlying tension. Instead, we can note the idea or task on a “consider” or “maybe someday” list and eliminate needless guilt and feelings of failure.

Start your brain dump now with my free guide with prompts and instructions to get you decluttering your mind today!
Next: GTD for Homemakers: Collect Your Thoughts

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