Ever have a hard time getting motivated to clean or organize an area?
Here is the classic thought process:
"Ugh, I really don't want to do that right now."
"It is going to take so much time, I will do it later."
"I will never get it done in the amount of time I have right now."
Decluttering, cleaning, organizing any space can be daunting at times. Implementing a variety of timing methods may reduce the brain chatter of excuses and help get the job done quickly.
Here are a few ideas that I have utilized to help get me:
1. Time yourself
With this method you time yourself completing everyday chores (ie: washing dishes, unloading the dishwasher, sweeping the kitchen floor, putting a load of laundry away). Don't rush when you are timing, if anything be a bit slower to cushion your time. After you complete the task, log the time somewhere like in a bullet journal or planner. Now, when you see the large pile of clean clothes in the basket you will know this will only take me XX minutes, then I can read my book. When I did this and found that it took me less than 12 minutes to wash a sink full of dishes it seemed more motivating to get the task done.
2. Deep Work
For projects that are as frequent or more unique a "deep work" method works well. With this method you set a timer for a certain amount of dedicated work time fully focused. I labeled this method after the book "Deep Work" by Cal Newport. The provides data and arguments about why and how this system works well for a variety of tasks in life. Here is how I use the "deep work" method. Currently, I am packing for our upcoming move and the "deep work" method motivates me for this task. For example, when I pack I go down to my storage room and set my phone for 20 minutes and begin organizing and boxing up items. This is a 100% committed time for this task. There are no distractions or multitasking elements taking place. For 20 minutes I focus and work as hard as I can at the task at hand. When the timer goes off the task is complete whether done or not. When the timer goes off I finish what I am doing and walk away from the boxes. This method is beneficial to implement with children as well. If the playroom is a mess and looks overwhelming to a six year to clean up, set the timer and have them only concentrate on a specific area for a set amount of time.
3. Race the Clock
This method offers a bit of a reward at the end and is the easiest to implement. Here is the scenario: the living room is destroyed after a long day. All you need to do is put on some music and set the timer for 15 minutes and try to beat that time. Tell yourself I can finish this in less than 15 minutes. Instinctively, you will move faster, make decisions quicker and not allow distractions to derail you. To help this method be even more successful you can even promise yourself a little reward at then end. In the living room example above, you could reward yourself with 10 minutes of extra reading or going to bed 15 minutes earlier if you beat the clock. This is another popular method with older kids, especially if they can read numbers and visually see the timer.
Each scenario, personality and home make up is unique. Trying each of the methods in a variety of situations will help create awareness about time and how to implement it as a strategy when cleaning. My hope is that one of the methods described above will give you motivation and peace with tackling your next home project no matter how big or small. I would love to hear how it went; please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story.
Mindful Miss Mason