Hello! And a Happy New Year to one and all! We spent New Year's Eve quietly at home, munching on my homemade sushi as we waited for the ball to drop at Times Square.
Earlier in the evening, I finished up a project I had started shortly before Christmas Day. At that time, I'd just completed the last gift wrapping and was inspired to do a little decluttering in my studio. I had pulled out a storage container of green art papers to use for making a gift tag, so I decided to go through this container to get rid of papers I didn't want anymore.
While doing so I came across a fistful of dark olive green card stock pieces, each measuring 3 3/4" long and 1 1/4" wide. There were close to 100 of these, all neatly cut with rounded corners. Not sure where they'd come from, but I suspect the creative reuse store Learning From Scratch in Grand Rapids. At first, I considered putting them in the pile of papers to go to Goodwill, but then came up with a use for them - hence, the title of this post, a "job jar" for 2013.
Using a combination of alphabet stamps, number stamps and my own lettering, I wrote out a series of tasks on these pieces. Didn't really start out with a lot of organization, but the tasks seemed to settle into four categories: Creativity ("practice drawing", "try a new recipe", etc), Physical/Mental/Spiritual ("try a new workout", "read an uplifting book", etc), Help Others ("make something for a friend", "write someone", etc) and Household Helps ("do a repair", "work on filing 20 minutes", etc).
For variety, some tasks are open-ended: for example, "do a repair" could mean mending a article of clothing, or it could mean getting out the wood glue to work on a loose chair leg.
Some tasks are more specific: "make a Halloween craft", for instance. Yes, I may pull this randomly, say in July, but that will just make doing such a craft more interesting than if I were to pull this on a day in October!
Out of the nearly 100 card stock pieces, I currently have 17 still blank, so I wrote out all the tasks on a separate piece of paper. That way, when I come up with 17 remaining tasks, I have a record of which ones I'd already thought of.
Here's what my "job jar" looks like:
As you can see, it's not actually a jar; it's a pottery vase, made by a friend several years ago. It measures about 3" tall and has a opening about 3 1/2" wide. My card stock pieces fit perfectly inside.
And here's the first "job" I pulled:
Thus, I got out the nature journal I'd purchased several years ago. To my chagrin, I noticed that the last time I'd written in it was 5-5-06! (to my credit, though, I hasten to add that I'd once kept a nature journal for an entire year).
This is one reason why I decided to do a "job jar" - not only will I write in my nature journal on the day I pull its tag as a task, but I might then be spurred on to write in it more often - or, at least more often than almost 6 1/2 years!
But the opposite holds true as well - if I pull a specific task like cleaning the refrigerator, and happen to pull that same task a couple of days later, then obviously I don't need to do that chore all over again. So I would just draw another tag.
And of course, some tasks will likely be tackled before I randomly draw its tag, like the one for catching up on that pesky filing, but I figure this system will overall nudge me into doing chores I tend to procrastinate about.
I think this will be fun to do, and if I follow through on the various tasks, I'll accomplish a lot this year as well!