Putting off the things that you need to do, also known as procrastinating, is common especially when it comes to housework. If you have difficulty overcoming procrastination, it is almost certain that it takes its toll on the quality of housework you do and the amount of energy it takes for you to do it. Here are some tips to help you stop this bad habit.
- Create a “To Do List.”
This obviously makes your workload heavier, literally, and it takes longer for you to complete the job. Overcoming procrastination is not like overcoming addiction if you just focus your mind on it. According to Stever Robbins, author of “Get-it-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More,” instead of taking baby steps and dividing your time to do housework, take baby “chunks” and schedule 15 minutes for a task daily.
Keep up these 15 minutes until you achieve steady progress. Still according to Robbins, these “chunks” are small enough for you to overcome any resistance to do the chore but big enough to make considerable strides to accomplish something. Creating a list of “to do” chores – everything that comprises daily chores the way your household needs or does it a certain way – and check off each one as you complete it.
- Set a Time Frame for Chores You Put Off
You have to focus on chores that you have been putting off and not those which you already do regularly. Setting up a time frame for these chores will help you manage your time for each. Write down “vacuum upstairs bedrooms by 3 PM” instead of merely writing “vacuum upstairs bedrooms.” Including the time at which you do the chore is crucial to remind you that you have to complete the task at a certain hour within the day.
Setting time frames can help prevent yourself from wandering into the so-called “procrastination zone” and from employing “delaying tactics.” If you have to do food preparation for dinner at 8 PM, for instance, write down “prepare ingredients by 5 PM for –” since the kind of food you will have to cook determines how much prep time you should give it. You cannot prepare food like pot roast in 30 minutes, can you?
- Do the Hard Chores First
Prioritize doing hard chores first because these bog you down which results in unproductivity in the rest of the things that you have to do. Finish the item which would require the most time to do because it is harder, for instance, like doing the laundry for family members rather than dusting the furniture. This can make you extra productive as well as give you a boost to do the other chores you have been putting off doing.
When it comes to doing the laundry, this means soaking clothes that have a lot of stains for two to three hours – especially if they are white colored – and use that time to do and finish other chores related to laundry like folding clothes that need ironing for later or hand-washing undergarments and other small items such as socks, lingerie, and tea cozies, to name a few.
Finishing the largest item on your list of things to do will make you feel extra productive and give you the boost to do other things you’ve been pushing to the side.
- Take a Break
If your strength begins to wane, take a break of 15 minutes. You can take a short nap, read, check your email or call a friend. Whatever it is that you do which can relax you is fine but that doesn’t mean it should go on for longer than 15 minutes. Set an alarm or timer to exactly 15 minutes and not a minute more. Doing so tempts you to ignore the deadline for you to go back to doing the rest of the chores on your list.
- Remove Distractions
Music helps some people to do their work but there are those who get distracted by it. If you belong to the latter category, get some noise-cancelling headphones, and put them on while you do your thing. If music actually enables you to be more productive, put on the headphones. Just make sure that you don’t get caught in it and have yourself a lip-synching “concert” and forget all about doing your chores.
If all else fails, try download some free apps that can help you manage your time. For those who use Firefox as a browser, LeechBlock can help stop distracting websites – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, among others – from loading during those times when you need to be doing your housework done instead of tweeting, adding on friends or doing hashtags.