Recently a good friend was telling me how she had to find her "incentive" to do housework. She reads a number of blogs and it can be time consuming to keep up with all of them. But it is her thing. She does it to relax and get a break from the world etc.
Her husband is a computer guy and as part of their jobs they do sales and they implemented an incentive program for themselves that if they hit X mark they could get bonuses or whatever. And every single month since they set up this incentive thing they have hit their mark. EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH. So she decided she needed to do the same, come up with an incentive for her To-Do list. Her incentive is the blogs. She does not allow herself to read her blogs until her To-Do list is done. Now I think her To-Do list is a daily list of things to be done in that day and not the 6 page list of things to be done sometime in the next 3 weeks to 6 months, like some of us do. But still, it works for her. She's been very excited because she has been getting her stuff done! Yay for her!! Seriously, that's awesome!
We were talking about this the other day. She suggested this incentive thing to me. And, I'm not gonna lie, at first I was like "Won't work for me. I'm not good at policing myself. Period. Ever. About anything. Hello, I weigh over 200 pounds, clearly I'm not good at self-policing."
But the seed was planted. And it has germinated.
I tend to be very "moody" about cleaning. If I'm in the mood I'll just clean until I drop. And if I'm not in the mood, the apartment goes to pot. I have walked over receipts for weeks. In fact right now there is an old chinese fortune cookie fortune laying in the middle of my dining room floor that has been there at a minimum, two weeks.
Between Christmas and New Year's I Cleaned my kitchen. Wiped everything down, did up the ridiculous amount of dishes that had accumulated, swept and mopped the floor. Cleaned.
A week later I rearranged my cupboards. I wanted to move some Tupperware out of the previously mentioned curio and had to adjust my cupboards to accommodate it. Also, the layout just was not working for me anymore. So one night I got the bug to do it, and got up off the couch in between episodes of Bones and did it. And, I might add, I felt pretty dang good about it.
Last night, I came home and did up my few dishes. Wiped down the counters. Put away the schtuff I had drug home that belonged somewhere in the kitchen. Then, I took my bit of Christmas whatnot down to my storage unit and did a 2nd trip down to take my recycling down. I cleaned all my pictures and whatnot off the front of the refrigerator and then I cleaned off the top of my curio. AND HUNG PICTURES That I have wanted to hang for no less than 6 months. and then topped it off by making a reasonably healthy supper. Fettuccine bag noodle mix healthified with sauteed chicken. And now I'm going to go watch a movie I've had from the library for a week.
What does this all mean? I realized two things. One, I prefer to do housework at night. I don't like doing it during the day. Not sure why, but no matter which task I schedule at what time during the day, I will not get around to doing it. Period. However, all those above things I did? Done at night. Every single one. So, voila, I prefer to do housework at night! Suddenly I feel FREE!
That incentive I mentioned? Movies/TV. I am going to begin building in "I can't watch X until the dishes are done." Or the floor is vacuumed. or the tub is scoured. Or whatever other task is driving me crazy. I know a lot of people do the "I clean the whole house on Saturday" thing, but I just already know that is simply NOT gonna work for me. A) I don't like to do anything on Saturdays and B) I will never complete the whole list of household chores in a single day. If I'm in the mood I might get through half of them before something else steals my attention.
Ok, gotta run. Got projects to do so I can be free to incentiveize myself tonight to do dishes before the movies I rented.