497 – Housework: The Hot Mess Theory Part 1 with Jacqui Ioli

Housework the hot mess theory
Organize 365 Podcast
497 - Housework: The Hot Mess Theory Part 1 with Jacqui Ioli

Jacqui Ioli is my guest today on the podcast. If you’re not familiar with Jacqui’s story, be sure to go back and listen to her Wednesday Transformation episode.

I asked Jacqui to join me to talk in-depth about why the Sunday Basket® works and how the concepts spill over into your work with the Friday Workbox®.

Jacqui has been a registered nurse for 40 years and a nurse practitioner for 25 years. She went back to school in her 50s to get her Ph.D. in nursing education and research. She’s brilliant! (And talking with her makes me want to get a Ph.D. even more!) I know you’re going to love hearing how she explains these concepts.

Jacqui got into research because she wanted to figure out why work was such a mess for the outpatient nurses she was supervising. She found grounded theory research, which is simply the basic way people solve day-to-day problems in a particular setting. She applies her knowledge of grounded theory to my theory of organizing: Declutter, organize and increase productivity.

After some insight into how a medical practice operates, we dive into types of work as well as the concept of invisible work. Invisible work is everywhere at home and work! Making the invisible work visible allows you to reduce it, systematize it, and talk about it. Next, we dig into Jacqui’s Hot Mess Theory of work.

The Hot Mess Theory consists of four different types of work that are happening simultaneously. These are:

  • Overwork
  • Underwork
  • Rework
  • Workarounds

In this episode, Jacqui fabulously explains these four types of work in detail and how they relate to the Sunday Basket® and your work life.

Overwork is too much work or too many steps. Jacqui explains this in terms of dusting. You could dust daily, but is that necessary? Could you stretch out dusting to my standard of six weeks or maybe every four weeks work at your house?

In this area it is important to ask two questions:

  • Where am I doing too much?
  • Where can I delegate?

If you are overworking, you are also underworking. Underwork is working below your level of skill and training. If you say that it is just easier to do it yourself rather than delegate a task, you are both underworking and overworking yourself at the same time.

This brings us to rework. This is work that wasn’t done right the first time and must be done again. At home, this can be related to looking for something that you lost. The Sunday Basket® rescues you here because you can use it as the holding place for those important and actionable items. In terms of paperwork, where can a task be automated that has to be done over and over again? In housework, why are you refolding clothes or reloading the dishwasher? Let good enough, be good enough! Doing rework leads back to overwork.

Workarounds happen when you don’t follow the process or there is no correct path. You don’t have time to think when you’re amid overwork, underwork, and rework. You then end up taking the workarounds because there’s no correct path.

The Sunday Basket® System and Friday Workbox® routines allow you to process the work, iterate, and create the correct path. These systems help you reduce barriers to your work and you make forward progress!

Jacqui and I just kept talking and talking so we split this conversation into two parts. she will be back next week to talk more about her Hot Mess Theory.

Click here to download Jacqui’s presentation as a PDF file

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