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Time constraints and hygienic negligence

Learn English Via Listening | Begin...
Learn English Via Listening | Beginner Level | Lesson 19 | Housework

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I would firstly like to introduce my background:


When I was a child my parents did everything for me... perhaps too much. My mother used to bathe me until I was about 12-13, and throughout the years always kept reminding me about brushing teeth, washing face, etc.


And to be honest, she always HAD to remind me, because I would never spontaneously care about my hygiene or putting my room in order.


My mind is always in the "flow"... with other things. So I get easily distracted from basic daily needs.


Since a few months I am living alone and sometimes I barely find the time to even have a shower. Sometimes I don't have a shower for 3-4 weeks...


My current situation is more or less like this:


I am male, 22, at university, and almost constantly busy with activities related to management of events, parties and initiatives for student societies. I am always on the run!


I wake up and check e-mails, then run to work, study, and do numerous things at the same time. When I come back home late at night I re-check and answer e-mails, sometimes fall sleep in the same clothes I dressed outside...


The next morning I wake up, have no time to look for new clothes, wear something I wore 2-3 days ago... esp. no new socks... lol ... (my mother used to always prepare my clothes every day)


I quickly brush my teeth and hair, but nothing else...

spray myself with loads of deodorants and smell-removers since those are the quickest things I can do within few minutes to prevent being late...

(I do spend a few minutes looking at myself in the mirror though)


OK, to summarize my problem: I am so busy that I neglect my personal care and I would like to somehow... find that time.


But I think that I somehow lack the instinct to do it automatically, spontaneously.


I NEVER feel like I should go and wash myself... I really only go have a shower before a general conference meeting or a really, really, really, really important party.


Could you help me answering my confusion, and perhaps suggest me a way to wake up and care for myself, iron my clothes, organize my socks, wash myself regularly, etc...?




I know it sounds like a joke to some of you,... but I'm serious.

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I understand your frustration, & this is a serious issue. I can tell that these usually routine things aren't so routine for you. Essentials such as showering and changing clothes aren't so essential...I think the first thing you need to do is learn how to prioritize your schedule.


To start off, you need to realize that there is no such thing as "not having enough time". Especially being a guy, your shower should take no more than 3-4 mins of your time. I think you need to start disciplining yourself by forcing yourself to remember certain things. For example, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than the time you usually wake up at, & get up and take a quick shower. The key is consistency. You can't be lazy, and you can't neglect any of these essentials.


Hygiene is sooo important--I can't even stress how important it is. It shouldn't be that difficult to start. You can set your alarm (cellphone, alarm clock, etc.) to remind you of certain things like showering, brushing your teeth, changing your clothes. Each of these tasks shouldn't take more than a few minutes of your time.


Once you realize how easy it is and it becomes a habit for you, I'm sure you'll stick to it. The hard part is starting...so I'd say start tomorrow =]


Good luck!

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Mobile phones are life savers when you have a memory like a siv as i do.

On your phone there should be a reminder option, sit down and set all of your reminders;

Get up and have a shower

Brush my teeth

Put on deoderant

Get dressed in clean clothes

Put on socks

Set out my new clothes for the next day.


Then set the reminder to all week, and then it will continue reminding you everyday, just like your mum used to.


You may not nessicarily want to do it in that order, it was just a quick suggestion.

But i think it may help you get organized.



take care



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The easiest thing to do would probably be to set your alarm clock so that you wake up 10 minutes earlier. Make your shower the FIRST thing you do every morning- that way it won't get pushed aside.


When I was a child my parents did everything for me... perhaps too much. My mother used to bathe me until I was about 12-13, and throughout the years always kept reminding me about brushing teeth, washing face, etc.


How is your relationship with your mother? Do you think you might be subconsciously rebelling against her?

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Thank you for all your advice...



Time management may be my problem. In the sense that I do everything right for my work and activities, but often fail when it comes to me personally... I work very efficiently because I probably know that something is at stake, and that someone will feel the immediate consequences of me not doing something.

Anyway... I could try doing that... I only fear that I won't have anymore time to sleep that way Or just... I don't know...


I think that perhaps I'm too slow also: often if I start ironing my clothes, I could stay one-two hours and then get late to university, etc. If I stay in the shower I start dreaming...



I'll try that as well!



Yeah, I always disagree with her, quite consciously! When I was a child, a teenager and also (especially) now as an "adult", probably more than ever before.

Long family history actually... but we're two opposites ideologically.

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I used to be like you. There was always something more important to do than have a shower or wash my clothes. Of course I would always do the bare minimum with the deodorant and the toothbrush, but anything of that nature that took a significant amount of time or effort generally got put on the backburner.


Like you, I convinced myself that I was too busy, and I never developed the habit even as a child. But what it really came down to, and I suspect this is at the heart of yours too, is this: I didn't really believe, deep down, that it made any difference. I couldn't smell myself, I didn't think I looked any worse than anyone else, so every day that I didn't have a shower, I felt I had just saved wasting my time on something that wouldn't make any difference anyway.


What eventually got me to change, apart from my ever growing desire to no longer be that way (which I see you have also now), was a former gf, who was the first person to shatter the illusions and tell me openly that actually my hygiene wasn't up to standard, people did notice when it was bad, and she would notice when it was better. And she did. Once I'd made that connection, that having a shower every day and taking care of myself in various ways that others take for granted, did actually make a difference, it was much easier to make myself do it, and it became a habit, and I'm much happier for it. You can do it too.

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