A few truths about me:
- I am very easily distracted, especially if I don’t like a task.
- I’m very competitive. I’m especially competitive against clocks or timers, and competitive against my self. If I set myself a challenge, I have to meet it.
- I HATE cleaning. I would much rather do just about anything than clean. I love when my house is clean, I just don’t enjoy getting it clean. Wait, that’s not exactly true. It’s just like I feel cleaning is going to take me forever, so I don’t want to do it. And since I don’t like it, it is very easy for me to get distracted – see point 1. I start cleaning, and I’ll go to put away a book, and just HAVE to read a page – which turns into a chapter or two. Or I turn on the TV just for a minute, which turns into a half hour. But the thing is – I don’t enjoy the reading or TV watching because I know I should be cleaning, so I just feel guilty.
Enter timed cleaning challenges. I have found that the BEST way for me to clean is to give myself a challenge – pick a time, and then assign myself the task of getting everything done in that amount of time, ideally before the timer goes off. I told you, I’m competitive. Since I have to beat my own challenge, it prevents me from getting distracted. I do the cleaning, quickly but thoroughly, and I can’t take breaks to delay the tasks.
For tonight, I set the timer to 45 minutes, and did all the dishes, cleaned the downstairs bathroom, vacuumed the whole downstairs, cleaned the glass coffee tables and wiped down the kitchen counters. Challenge: Met.
I then grabbed the three loads of laundry downstairs, and headed upstairs to put away laundry (side note: as much as I hate cleaning, I hate putting away laundry even more. We tend to get large piles of clean laundry hanging around before we put it away). Next cleaning challenge: set the timer to 45 minutes, and I had to put away all laundry – either hanging up in the closet or folded and put away in drawers. A lot of the clothes were just in a big pile, so there was a fair amount of folding I had to do. Challenge: Met.
So, now I only have to clean the upstairs bathroom and vacuum upstairs this weekend, which means a lot more weekend time to enjoy doing what I WANT to do, not what I have to do. Yay!