Tiny Task Tuesday – Celebrating All I’ve Achieved In May 2021

a woman holding a laundry basket overflowing with clean laundry

We're one month into the Tiny Task challenge, so today I'm celebrating all that I've achieved this month. If you're not familiar with Tiny Task Tuesday, it's all about training ourselves to pace, break activities down into smaller tasks and create sanctuary at home, one tiny task at a time. You can read more about how it all began over here. I hope you will join me whenever possible, if you do, use the hashtag #TinyTaskTuesday so I can find your post online and celebrate your ta-da too!

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Celebrating A Month Of Consistency

When living with a debilitating chronic illness like ME/CFS, it is hard enough to simply get daily living activities done, so it's even harder to actually be consistent with anything we do manage to do. 

Anybody who knows me, knows that I am full of ideas and good intentions, but my body just doesn't let me consistently apply myself to anything. So many unfinished projects and broken commitments!

So I am really happy and quite proud of the fact that I have managed to be consistent with these tiny tasks each week for a whole month - pacing this way doesn't come naturally, but it really works! 

How To Pace Your Activities

Decide which chore or activity you want to get done, then break it down into smaller tasks which can easily be done in 5 minute windows.

General instructions for Tiny Task Tuesday challenge

For example: set up, sorting, binning accumulated junk, washing things, packing things away, etc. Use a timer to create short sessions, spread throughout the week, tackle one tiny task at a time and rest well between each session.

This way you don't overdo things by tackling the whole chore or activity all at once. I'll give specific examples for each week's tasks below. I hope this will inspire or motivate you to find your own tiny tasks to tackle within your own personal limits.

Week 1 - Tidy Your Bedside Table

In week 1 we focused on tidying up our bedside tables. Over time things can get pretty out of hand and pile up, especially during a flare. So the goal here is to think about what you really need or want next to your bed and just get rid of the rest, put it somewhere else - it can be dealt with another day.

A post-it note with this week's Tiny Task Tuesday, Tidy your bedside table

How I Did It

I have two bedside trolleys, but I tackled just one that week.  If you look through the photos below, you'll see my before and after pictures (or as I like to call them, to do and ta-da!).

It took me about 4x 5-minute sessions, spread over 2 days, to complete this tiny task. Waking up to a tidy and functional bedside trolley is such a joy though!

Click on the photos below to zoom in.

Char's messy bedside trolley
Char's bedside trolley, halfway through tidying it up
Char's bedside trolley, all tidied up

Week 2 - Sort The Clean Laundry

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a mountain of laundry piling up on a chair or table somewhere in their house, right? For me it's a chair as well as the dresser. So in week 2 we tackled the mountain of clean laundry.

My focus was on sorting it. Not packing it away, that's a whole other task which requires moving up and down, back and forth... that's a tiny task for another day.

How To Do It

Set a timer for short 5min sessions. Sit with legs folded or raised on bed or sofa, so we can stay upright longer (thanks to orthostatic intolerance, this is an issue many of us will need to take into consideration) and dump it all in front of you.

Fold each piece of clothing and place it onto its relevant pile: bottoms, long sleeves, short sleeves, undies, household items, to hang later, etc. Make sure to leave space on the bed or sofa for you to lie down at regular intervals and take a break.

A post-it note with this week's Tiny Task Tuesday, sort the clean laundry

When you're done, you can pile them all on top of each other, they're well sorted and this will make packing them away easier next time you have the energy to do another task.

I just put the whole lot back on the chair to deal with another time. The dresses are hanging up next to the chair. But it already looked so much better. Tiny Task done!

Click on the photos below to zoom in.

a pile of Char's clean laundry on a chair
Char lying on the bed next to the sorted laundry
Clean laundry neatly stacked on a chair

Week 3 - Prepare For Blue Sunday Tea Party

By week 3 it was time to go blue for M.E. and get ready for Blue Sunday's Tea Party For M.E! Taking time throughout the week to get all the bits and pieces ready for the tea party so that all our energy on the day can be spent enjoying it with our loved ones or socialising online with other participants.

How To Do It

I like to think about which blue outfit I'll wear and set it aside, make sure it's available in advance. There's nothing worse than waking up on the day to find it hasn't been washed yet and is still in the bottom of the laundry basket. Sometimes it's only a blue top since I'll be in bed and nobody will see the rest. Sometimes it's my blue pyjamas. And sometimes I even get dressed the day before, just to save spoons on the day. 

A post-it note with this week's Tiny Task Tuesday, prepare for Blue Sunday

I'll paint my nails a few days in advance too. And make sure I find any blue accessories I want to wear, like necklace, earrings, bracelets, scarf, etc.  It's also a good time to find all our blue decorations. Things like fairy lights, bunting, napkins, cake toppers, balloons, etc.

I'll make sure that my blue plates and tea set are clean and set them aside in the kitchen so they don't end up being dirty on the day. I'd put a note on them too, so whoever uses my kitchen knows not to use them.

Click on the photos below to zoom in.

Char's blue shirt, folded. On top of it there are 3 nail varnishes and a blue bow hair clip
a blue mug on top of a blue plate
A blue plate with cookies and brownies

If you don't know about the Tea Party For ME, head over to Anna's blog for all the details.

Week 4 - Tidy Just One Surface

Sometimes tidying just one surface can make such a difference to a room. So in week 4 we focused on tidying just one surface.

For me it's my art desk. As you can see in the photos, it was piled high with all sorts of random things. When we moved my room around last year and brought the art desk in here, I became unwell and wasn't able to use it, I wasn't even able to tidy up and find places for all the things that were misplaced in the move. So it's just been snowed under since. It was about time it got sorted.

How I Did It

Sitting down while doing these tasks is a big help. It can save a lot of energy if you don't stay on your feet too long. I sorted things into piles and groups. Decided where each pile would go, some would need a new home entirely, but I just put those somewhere else to be dealt with another day.

A post-it note with this week's Tiny Task Tuesday, tidy just one surface

Then I wiped down the desk and rearranged the remaining items in their new spots. Remembering to take breaks throughout, but you could also spread it out over a few days.

My room is finally starting to look tidy and uncluttered. That makes for a more uncluttered mind too. And I'm excited about the potential to actually use the desk again - maybe get my acrylics out and paint again!

Click on the photos below to zoom in.

Char's art desk under piles of random items
Char's art desk clean and tidy
Char's art supplies neat and tidied

Week 5 - Create A Cosy Corner

This week we've created a cosy corner away from our beds. Since many of us spend most of our time in bed, it can become monotonous, and even affect our mental health, so this week I thought it would be a good idea to create a simple but cosy spot away from my bed to give me an alternate spot where I can rest, read, see the garden and just get out of my room.

Since I walk to the living room to open the curtains, I thought I'd tidy up one spot, my spot, where I could hang out for a while before coming back to my room, and make it as comfy as I can without expending too much energy.

How I Did It

First I decided what I'd primarily use this spot for - for me it's my morning quiet time of Bible reading and prayer and watching the birds have their breakfast at the feeders. I then brought some books to read, pens, a journal and a decorative vase with a scented candle. 

A post-it note with this week's Tiny Task Tuesday, create a cosy corner

I also brought a pretty coaster, a cushion and some blankets to make it more cosy. There are also a pair of binoculars for bird-watching and the TV remotes in case I use this spot at other times too.

This sofa reclines which is perfect for me, it means I can lie down if I need to and still have a view out to the garden. Do you have a favourite spot in the house you could spruce up and use more often?


Click on the photos below to zoom in.

A black sofa with blankets strewn untidily and a coffee table with random junk all over it
A black sofa with blankets neatly draped over it, a fluffy heart cushion, and on the coffee table, some books, pens and a candle in a decorative vase

It's The Small Things That Make A Big Difference

We often feel overwhelmed or inadequate because we can no longer tackle the daily tasks we used to manage easily when we were healthy, but the truth is that every tiny thing you do makes a difference. 

It not only makes your home more comfortable and tidy, but also gives your mental health and confidence a boost as you celebrate each tiny victory.

It produces a positive ripple effect on your life. So be easy on yourself. Take your time. Go at your own pace. Just do what you can.

Forward is forward, no matter how slow you go. So don't forget to celebrate every little victory!

a woman holding a laundry basket overflowing with clean laundry

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Thank you for stopping by. Hugs, Char xx

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