January Happiness Project Update


The overall update for this month’s Happiness Project: I now have a new after work habit and tackling one nagging task per week at both home and work is a great plan, and weekly tidying is the way to go for me!


January’s focus was on creating some happiness in both my home in work environment.  My goal for the beginning of the year was to start slowly, declutter, and get some of those nagging and lingering tasks off my plate.  The idea is that this would allow me to get rid of the excess that always seems to impact my energy and weigh me down.  


See January’s blog for a more complete overview of the month and the entire Happiness Project.


The “One-Minute Tidy Rule” kept my stress level down at school and home…


I love following the one-minute tidy rule when I come home from work and have done this every day in January!  This rule states that if any task I’m doing only takes a minute, it needs to be done now, not at a later time.


Previously, each evening I would avoid hanging my clothes up in the closet and instead throw my clothes in a pile to deal with all at once at the end of the week.  This seemed like a great plan for years but now that I’ve been just taking a minute to put all of that days “stuff” away I never feel bogged down by those piles that rapidly appear each week and then are dealt with on the weekend.  I don’t need to schedule time to clean up after myself because those things have already been quickly taken care of throughout the week.  


This also was a big benefit in my classroom: I picked up throughout my day instead of only when I was getting ready to leave.  I made sure that before I shut off my light in my classroom and locked the door, my room was ready for the following day.  This made arriving at work much less stressful in the morning.


So I highly recommend trying the one-minute tidy in order to keep your mind free from clutter and accumulation throughout the week.


“Tackling Nagging Tasks” kept me moving forward….


I started the month by listing out all of the nagging tasks I had at home and a separate list for school.  This month happens to coincide with getting ready for a new semester, so this was a great way to tackle some of those housekeeping items that may never get done otherwise.  


At first the lists overwhelmed me because they were long!  Then I decided that if it worked to tackle one task a week, then I would just try to put them in order of priority and chip away at them one at a time.  It may take me longer than January but it would be a start!


One interesting revelation when making the lists is that some of my clutter and nagging tasks resides in the cyber world.  So, others may not see it, but the clutter here is almost my dirty little secret.  I’m glad I recognized that those were nagging tasks and didn’t just relegate the distinction to decluttering physical items.


Here are some highlights I tackled this month…

-cleaned out a filing cabinet

-cleaned out and organized my office closet

-cleaned window sills

-organized my desk drawers

-organized my home computer’s document folder and desktop

-organized my work computer’s document folder and desktop

-organized Google drive

-cleaned out and cleaned up both work and personal email folders

-made a nagging phone call to the insurance company

-mailed back a duplicate Christmas gift


The “Weekly Cleanup” kept me from feeling overwhelmed with weekend to-dos….


By following the one-minute tidy rule at school, I didn’t have too much weekly cleanup at the end of my weeks.  This rule helped more at home.  I divided the tasks the weekly cleanup to floors.  So the first and third weekend, I focused on the first floor cleaning.  The second and fourth weekend, I focused on the second floor cleaning.  Now, just so you know, cleaning to me means vacuuming, cleaning floors, and wiping down the kitchen and bathroom.  This is definitely not over the top housework…just some light upkeep.  Please don’t judge me 🙂


By doing a little bit each week, coupled with following the one minute tidy rule, I didn’t have as much accumulation and I never felt like it was unable to be achieved.  I had to let go of everything being clean at the same time, but it definitely didn’t feel like a momentous task.


January was a success…


Overall, this month’s Happiness Project brought me a realization of some things that seem to work for me to manage the responsibilities of school and home, which simultaneously makes me happier.  Often, I had the habit of letting things pile up and go through a phase of getting it all done at once.  This tactic left me feeling fulfilled at the end of the experience, but it weighed heavily on me as I wondered when I would find the time to tackle all of the responsibilities.


Key Takeaway of the month…


My key takeaway is that I’m happier when I have a plan for managing things I don’t really love doing in smaller, more manageable tasks.


Try this at home AND at school…


Write down those nagging tasks that need to get done “sometime” and first consider if they ever REALLY need to get done.  Get rid of the ones that you don’t think you will ever do (or really need to do).  With the rest of the list, schedule one task/week (or every other week) and plan for it in your schedule.  See if this helps with getting some things accomplished, without the added stress we sometimes hold around our to-do lists.  If you try it, leave a comment below or let me know how it is going at danielle@teachingwell.life.


0 thoughts on “January Happiness Project Update”

  1. Krista Steffy says:

    I completely agree! Prioritizing and making tasks more manageable has made me feel so much “lighter”. The “one minute rule” has left me feeling more accomplished and much much less overwhelmed at home and work. I’m so glad your January was also a success! Thank you for doing this!

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