Raise your hand if you look at your mountain of dishes or laundry or paperwork and just feel defeated before you begin. Here’s some ideas about how to motivate yourself to tackle those chores.
I mean, I hope you’re wearing some kind of clothes, anyway. Awkward.
But what I’m getting at is actually getting ready in the morning. Whatever “ready” is for you. Get out of your pajamas, clean up, fix your hair (whatever that means to you, again.)
For this momma, that means putting on the same level of real clothes every day, whether I’m leaving my house or not. It usually means a little makeup – personal preference. A washed face and brushed teeth and the same hairstyle I wear literally every day (my hair is its whole own saga. Ha.) I could fly out the house without doing anything but putting on shoes.
Looking put together helps you feel put together. If that sounds shallow, try it. Game-changer.
I enjoy my morning tea and afternoon coffee while working on my planner, writing up my shopping list, working on goal-setting, or other seated tasks. Sometimes I use “sitting down with a hot beverage and doing nothing” as a self-imposed reward for accomplishing my chores, as well.
Speaking of Rewards
I don’t believe that every self care should be dependent upon you finishing some chore. That’s a dangerous slope of self-induced guilt and stress. But sometimes it can help to do something special, just for you, after completing something you’re particularly dreading.
For me, that looks like painting my nails if I get my nighttime routine done before 9 pm. Going to the coffee shop on Sundays (have you seen my Instagram?!) if I do a sink of dishes first. Things that are entirely extra, just for fun, occasional indulgences.
Playing music can be a great motivator and stress reducer. I find I especially appreciate music while cooking dinner – it’s the witching hour when my antsy kids are waiting for Dad to come home, and I can’t carry them around because I’m using knives and stoves. They are entertained by my ridiculous dancing (I’m a HORRIBLE dancer!) and my frantic waiting-for-backup feelings are kept at bay.
This one doesn’t work well for me, personally, because my dog barks at timers and my dog’s barking grates on my nerves. But I’ve heard of people having great success with setting a timer for just 5 or 10 minutes and seeing how much they can pick up in that time, or how many dishes they can wash, or how many clothes they can fold. It proves that the actual time commitment of completing your housekeeping is not as big as it sounds, and is a fun challenge. Instead of using a timer, I do the next trick…
Finish something while waiting
There are lots of little pockets of waiting in my day. I wait for a toddler to use the bathroom, my husband to get out of the shower, tea/coffee water to heat. For the resulting tea/coffee to steep/brew. I wait for the kids’ 15 minutes of playtime after lunch before nap, for the washer (which takes longer than the dryer) to finish, for the kids to get done with their baths (that’s a Dad duty).
I smash a task into each of those time slots, which has the effect of the task getting done quickly, and added benefit of saving bigger chunks of time for more enjoyable activities.
Specifically, I wipe down the bathroom while my toddler’s in there. I pick up our bedroom and check the weather and pick out my clothes while my husband showers. My phone comes out to check social media while my water is heating (it helps me keep that time in check!) I do as many dishes as I can while my kids play before naptime. I fold some laundry while I’m waiting for the washer. The house gets picked up and vacuumed while my kids are in the bathtub.
This method is doubly helpful when it comes to things I MUST do while the kids are awake (vacuuming, cleaning their Jack-and-Jill bathroom) because during many of these little pockets of time, they are otherwise occupied.
Your turn! Do you have any tricks to motivate yourself for your tasks? Leave them in the comments!