Cleaning is not something that everyone loves. Even I have a love/hate relationship with the hoover sometimes. But, we need to keep our houses clean and tidy. It doesn’t matter if your kids are “making memories”, social services tend to frown upon a dirty house. So, how do I keep my house clean, run a business, and write books and blog posts? Wonder no more, just read on.
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Eat that frog!
This is a tip that I picked up from a recent Audible binge and listened to Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time. The idea is to start with the hardest job first and then everything that comes after it won’t seem so difficult. Sound’s simple enough but when it comes to tidying and cleaning it can be tough to work out what the worst job is. That worst job is going to be different for every person but what you can do is start with the worst room first and work from there. Once you get that room of nope sorted, you will feel unstoppable.
Listen to something
I know I just listed an audiobook as the first entry but it is true that listening to stuff can help take your mind off the jobs that you are doing. It doesn’t have to be Eat The Frog or any other audiobook for that matter (but I could not recommend having an Audible Membership anymore than I have). You could also listen to podcasts or music. I know that the Greatest Showman soundtrack is a big hit with a lot of my runner friends. If you are looking for some audiobook inspiration, then check out my top picks for audiobooks to help get you motivated.
Try the Pomodoro technique
This is a bit of a strange one but stay with me. The idea behind this one is intervals and timing.
There are six steps in the original technique:
- Decide on the task to be done.
- Set the pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes).
- Work on the task.
- End work when the timer rings and put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
- If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 2.
- After four pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.
This technique can be used for pretty much everything from cleaning to studying so this can be a great technique to master and help with time management. By being completely focused on a task for a short period of time (with no distractions) you should be able to get more done. The Pomodoro technique says to do a task for 25 minutes before a quick break and moving on but I personally prefer doing an hour session and then having a break. Normally, 25 minutes and I’m just getting into the swing of something and I hate having to drop it for a quick break.
Making a list and rolling it all together
This might sound so stupid but it can really help you. Before you start, make a list of everything that needs to be done in each room. Pick the worst room from the list and start there with your music/podcast/audiobook in your ears, and have a timer set for one hour, then get cracking. After an hour, have a five-minute break, check off what you have done so far, then get back to it. I have found that I can clean the whole house from top to bottom this way (although this does not include the ironing, that is another beast in itself) and it can be done in around three hours. I’m talking scrubbed bathroom, hoovered floors, a kitchen that gleams. You could honestly become one of those annoying domestic goddesses that everyone hates but wishes they were. Personally, I like to do an hour of cleaning, then switch to an hour of writing, then back again. After three hour sessions, the house is spotless, and because it is done every day, it never gets on top of me.
Those are my top tips for cleaning and keeping your house in tip-top shape. Do you have anything that gets you through the housework? Let me know in the comments.