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Doing a small thing is better than doing nothing when you’re feeling stuck

Here’s the thing.  There’s a lot of productivity advice that says, well, if you don’t know what to do, do the thing that’s in front of you.  If a job is going to take less than two minutes, do it NOW. Put on your big girl undies, lace up your Doc Martens and get the heck on with it.

This advice is just jolly splendid when  I’m well rested and having a good mental health day and I’m right up for the kicking of butts and the taking of names.  But there are some days that I just don’t feel like that.

Some days it’s all too much and there are just too many choices.

Even considering the choices makes me feel too anxious, so I just want to curl up in a squishy chair with my laptop and Tumblr.

Portrait of the Artist With Poor Posture and Squishy Chair

The bugger of the thing isn’t that I’m not doing any of the things I should be doing. It’s that I end up getting stuck in my chair, hypnotically clicking and scrolling, but not actually enjoying what I’m doing while I’m avoiding doing the proper thing.


That is no good to man nor beast.  (Nor does it do anything to improve the state of my kitchen floor)

So I have devised an opt out, in-case-of-emergency plan for myself:

Do a Thing! (it's better than not doing a thing)

It’s way better to get up and do something that will get you out of the squishy chair or the escapist nap. Either something enjoyable that doesn’t take much thinking about, or just a very very small bite of a Useful Job, even if that job is probably way down the bottom of your imaginary stack-ranking of Job Importance that you can’t think about because there are way too many things on the list.

Repeat after me: doing a thing – SOME thing –  is way better than NOT doing a thing.

Here is my own list of Small Things I Can Do when I find myself to be not doing a thing.

Your list will be different, but it’s a good idea to make one and keep it in your back pocket (or at the back of your mind) for when you find yourself curled in a Sad, Anxious Ball of Stuck-edness.

Small Things To Do

  1. Water a plant
  2. Pick up the duplo blocks
  3. Go have a drink of water. Make it fancy with a lemon slice or ice in it or something.
  4. Grab a handful of the kids’ art to keep or recycle
  5. Sweep the kitchen (Apparently I was feeling very optimistic when I made this picture)
  6. Put on your shoes and go for a short walk
  7. Write a letter
  8. Write the shopping list from the whiteboard onto an actual bit of paper
  9. Bake something!
  10. Hang out some washing, or get in some washing, or just move some washing along one click on the process
  11. Pick up an Actual Book to read
  12. Phone a Friend or Relation
  13. Glue some bits in your scrappy scrapbook
  14. Ignore any other laundry backlog and just fold some towels
  15. Go outside and sit under a tree


After you do a Small Thing, you might want to keep on working on it. You might wander off to do something else, or feel ready to tackle a larger job.  Or just feel a little bit better and fend off the siren call of the catnap for a few minutes longer.  It’s all good.

PS: Take care of yourself.

 Song of the Day

must be…. The Pirates who Don’t Do Anything.

Task box bug after iOS 7 update.

Bug in cell expanding in iOS7


We’re aware that there is a least one bug that affects HomeRoutines after  you upgrade to iOS 7.

We had used some magic in the text cells for tasks, which allowed them to grow taller and fit more lines of text.

Unfortunately, some aspects of the way iOS 7 handles text fields have stopped this from working. As a result, you can’t read tasks longer than two lines long. Poop.

We are working on an update to fix this, of course.

If you find any other bugs that seem to have appeared after the update, do please let us know.

Thank you!

HomeRoutines 2.5 Update

There’s a new update in the app store for HomeRoutines.

Nifty new features include:

  • New bi-weekly*, monthly and manual reset schedules for your routines
  • Choose which months of the year routines will appear – for seasonal routines
  • Support for iPhone 5 screen resolution
  • Improved iPad artwork for retina screens
  • Bug fixes for star resets, background music, timer sounds, routine reminders, bluetooth hotspots and more
  • HomeRoutines is now a universal app. Whether you originally purchased the iPhone or iPad version, it will now work on either device.

UPDATE, 8 February

We have identified a couple of bugs in HomeRoutines 2.5 (Special thanks to those of you who’ve taken time to let us know!)

The first affects the new bi-weekly routines. Only “Week A” routines are appearing , regardless of which week you have selected.   Bi-weekly reminders are also not appearing correctly.

The second bug is affecting the sync service.  Sometimes changes are sent up to the server but then decide to stay there, rather than coming back down to the app.  This means that syncing between two devices is not working consistently.

We are very sorry that these bugs are marring our new update, which we are otherwise very proud of. We have stayed up late and submitted an update to Apple, but it takes about a week for the App Store to review it and release it to the store.

We will keep you posted as we have any news, and apologies again if you’re affected by the bugs.