Hopefully you are now ready to embark on a few new changes to your domestic service and after all the panic of yesterday's post you've calmed down and ready to get to work.
Today is a moment of pure realization. When you look around at all the housework that needs doing you see a big picture. It can be overwhelming and, trust me, it can make you not want to do anything. But the secret to this is to break it into smaller tasks. Housecleaning helpers all around, like FlyLady and Unfuck Your Habitat, which we'll be talking about later this series emphasize that doing tasks in shorter time frames actually means you get more done in the long run because you don't get overwhelmed or sidetracked. For me, the magic number is 10 minutes. For others it might be twenty. You have to find the time that works for you.
And how do you do that? Start with 10 minutes and see what you get done. The goal is to avoid the itch to reorganize, deep clean, pull out the labelmaker or head off to another chore. If you can finish most chores in that time, that's your sweet number. If not, add 5 minutes. Keep adding until you can accomplish the smaller tasks in that time.
What's a smaller task, you might ask? Let's take the kitchen for example. It needs cleaning. But if you break it into tasks like, load the dishwasher, wash the pots and pans, wipe down the counters, sweep and mop the floor and only do each one in a 10 minute period before you take a 5 minute break you'll get more done.
A Break after only 10 minutes? What is this nonsense!
It's not a long break and it's more of a small reward for one task accomplished and preparation for the next. During the break, sit down, check off the task on your to-do list if you prefer that satisfying feeling of checking things off a physical list like I do and then pick the next task. Some people pick cleaning tasks based on priority or they have a certain order that cleaning must be done. Whatever that is for you, get ready to move on to the next task and then set that timer again! Instead of feeling overwhelmed at the huge scope of cleaning you are doing, you can feel success at completing one task on your list and are ready for the next.
Set a kitchen timer for 10 mins and pick one task you know needs doing. See how much you get done in 10 minutes. Rinse and repeat as time allows, but only do one task for 10 minutes. If you aren't done after the 10 minute timer, that's okay, but I hope you'll begin to see that the majority of household chores can be completed in this small time span. Amazing what a commercial break could accomplish, right?