Cleaner

Summary – Motivation for the demotivating little task

It’s spring cleaning today in my house. And I must say that even though I’m cleaning the house on the go daily, when it’s time for spring cleaning, there are always a lot of things to do. It can be very demotivating to see so many things to do when you are already doing so much cleaning it on the go.

The amazing thing is these things to do are just small tasks that you can do immediately like putting away newspaper for recycling, or wiping up the dust on the furniture, or arranging the DVDs. Little things that somehow there’s so many of them, you just feel very very demotivated.

I don’t know about you but I find these techniques to be quite effective especially for motivating us to do all the tedious small tasks.

1) 100 Items And You’re Done
Whenever you are picking up socks or taking out the garbage. Count and shout the number of task you have done. An example –

You are picking up socks, shout “ONE!”
Then straight away do the garbage and shout “TWO!”

The rule is you must not stop unless you have done 100. I’m getting excited even writing about it :)

2) The Amazing Race “Insert Your House Here”
Cleaning the house is not a one time thing. You will be doing it for the rest of your life. Why not make it a race. Create a list of things to do and do all the thing on the list (duh!). But you will have to time how long it takes you to finish the list. For example you take 3 hours this week. Next week try to do the same task in 2.5 hours. If you break that record, make a big deal out of it. Go out at a fancy restaurant with your loved ones to celebrate.

I wouldn’t tell her what’s the occasion though. :)

3) Soundtrack Yourself
Burn a cd of songs that you really like. Play it while you’re cleaning. You can sing to it, you can even dance to it, but promise yourself that there will be no repeat for the playlist. When it’s over, it’s over. So motivate yourself by saying that if you can’t finish by the time the songs are over, you will have to do the work without any music.

Hopefully the fear of boredom will help clear the area a bit faster.

4) Attack The Giant First
Just like in war, we need constant motivation through out the war. In this war for cleanliness, it is recommended that you do the bigger thing first. For example, moving the heavy furniture. Do this first and the rest will feel like the easiest thing to do.

5) In-Law’s Visitting Scenario
This is actually my favorite. I noticed that I can clean the house faster and better when I keep convincing myself that my in-laws are coming. I notice this when they actually came to my house a few months ago. My house never looked cleaner. :)

6) The One-Minute Rule
This rule is actually proposed by Gretchen from The Happiness Project. According to the rule, anything that you can do in one minute time, should be done immediately. No question asked. For example, you come back after work and you see an umbrella misplaced. You can of course choose to ignore it and do other thing. But if you are applying the one minute rule, you will pick up the umbrella and put it to its rightful place. Why? Because it will only take you less than a minute to do that.

- I wonder –
Any other ideas on how to motivate ourselves doing those tedious little tasks?

———– Personal Note ———–
Now that we have a new member of the family, our daughter Zafirah. The mrs and I have come up with an agreement that one of us will have to look after Zafirah at any time. I’m telling you. A lot of my existing schedule were thrown out the window :)

But I’m more than happy to do that just to see her smile. Did I tell you that she is now smiling :)

Photo credit – Givepeasachance

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This post has 19 comments.


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  1. 21 Jul 08 2:08 am

    Cleaning with music is an excelent tip.

  2. 21 Jul 08 10:41 am

    Banji, playing music that u like while cleaning the house tu memang betul berkesan. At least you wont get bored.

    Aside that, another factor that motivates me not to berhenti sparuh jalan is to repeat this mantra over and over again “burn more fats, burn more fats, burn more fats”.. hihihi

  3. 21 Jul 08 2:14 pm

    hmm.. I have this habit; I always keep my room as messy as possible, and then when the time comes, which means when I start to feel rimas with all my stuffs, then I do the cleaning. And I will clean whole-heartedly, from the very tiny bit of mess until the largest size of rubbish. hehe..
    And doing cleaning with songs? That’s my all-time habit :)

  4. banji
    21 Jul 08 11:27 pm

    Cleaning – Thank you.. It’s one of the oldest trick in the book. Welcome to the blog

    Belladonna – haha I actually lol with your mantra. It’s so simple and effective. I will try that :)

    Azuwachan – That’s a new one. My guess is that when you see your own room in that extreme mess, you will gain the momentum to really clean it. That’s an opposite technique to cleaning on the go, but maybe it is equally effective. Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. nor ash burn
    22 Jul 08 7:21 am

    banji.. cara awak buat spring cleaning.. sy dpt bayangkan yg awak begitu gembira melakukannya.. sempat lagi nak buat counting, dngr lagu, motivate itu ini lagi.. klu sy tak kuasa le..

    teringat satu ketika dulu bila mak ngan abah tiba2 telefon nak dtg.. rumah pula tngh berkecah tak sempat lg nak lipat kain baju.. sy apa lagi.. ambil jalan mudah aje le.. sumbat semua kain baju yg belum berlipat ke dalam lemari pakaian.. hehehe

    skrg dah tak ada lagi istilah spring cleaning kat rumah.. everyday is spring cleaning day! ahak

    -nor ash burn-

  6. 22 Jul 08 8:58 am

    yup banji.. the cleaning with music one is the best.. i remember holding the broom as i am holding a guitar and microphone when my favourite song being played..

  7. gina
    22 Jul 08 3:24 pm

    tak kirelah in laws or sape2…tapi kalo selalu org dtg umah gerenti seme clear..hihihi.
    skrg ni rajin jugaklah sbb nak bg motivasi kat baby bile dah kuar nanti jd rajin gak…ok x banji?? motivasi stat dr dlm perut :)

  8. banji
    22 Jul 08 4:13 pm

    nor ash burn – terpaksa menggembirakan diri, mcm kebanyakkan org lain, spring cleaning ni lah yg malas sekalii nak buat, tapi kena buat. so kena le cari jalan utk menceriakan suasana :)

    sumbat semua kain dlm almari… heheh pernah buat jugak, time desperate. dan pintu bilik tu terus dikunci, alasan.. store huhu

    Bendul – hahah mmg best jadikan penyapu sebagai mic. Somehow bila kita nyanyi dalam rumah sorg2, rasa mcm sedap gila suara. apsal ntah takmasuk akademi fantasia :)

    Gina – Amiin. kena latih dari dalam perut. hm mungkin jugak, kalau cara berfikir yg rajin oleh mak tu bleh berjangkit. Nanti dah selamat dilahirkan dan dah besar, tell me how it goes kay?

    Berapa bulan lagi ye?

  9. 23 Jul 08 1:22 am

    ini dah summer, but i guess cleaning never ends… APP ada tips jugak. OUTSOURCE!!

  10. banji
    23 Jul 08 10:18 pm

    AkakPokPek – hehe yerp, cleaning will haunt you 24/7/365 :)

    Can I know.. How do you outsource? a permanent staff or the hubby? :)

  11. 24 Jul 08 10:14 pm

    Wise set of tips you have here. I like the idea of motivation via the “100 Things” method.

  12. 25 Jul 08 1:16 am

    Marc And Angel Hack Life – Thank you for the support :) I too find that method equally exciting

  13. 25 Jul 08 5:35 pm

    the ‘amazing race’ part works best for me. the satisfaction when everything’s clean and neat is the best prize. :)

  14. 25 Jul 08 10:55 pm

    Wilda – nothing beats the satisfaction of a job well done right? :)

  15. elise
    06 Feb 10 4:22 am

    Chores are always better when they are done; that is my motivation.

  16. elise
    06 Feb 10 4:28 am

    …..and chores are always cooler when they are done ;)

  17. elise
    06 Feb 10 4:40 am

    i said that twice i know i just wanted to say the word cooler!! lol gotta go do my chores now ciao

  18. [...] 6 Powerful Motivation Techniques For Spring Cleaning beloved daughter, commitment, daughter, hot rock, image editor, Motivation, motivation level, way, what on earth, work [...]

  19. Rachelle
    22 Feb 12 11:41 pm

    I usualy put a time on for 30 minutes and my husband and i will clean until it beeps. I think I’m going try to listen to some music while cleaning!

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