Reply To: Stay at home moms and procrastination

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You are most likely bored or you feel like this is something you have to do, but not something you want to do. The task is to make it enjoyable and something that you want to do. Here are some things that work for me.

1. Listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks while you clean the house. It will keep your wandering mind occupied and interested.

2. Watch a TV show while you are cooking or Skype a friend.

3. Have a friend come over once a week and help you clean your house and you’ll go over once a week and help them clean their house. It’s always more fun cleaning other people houses and it’s easier when you have company.

4. Don’t do all the work yourself. You might be at home while your spouse is away at work, but that doesn’t mean you have to do all the work. Pick some things that your spouse will do, or things that you do together f.ex. cooking and cleaning up after dinner, make a meal plan, fold laundry etc.

5. Don’t clean up while your baby is asleep (if that’s the case). You should either take a nap or use the time to do something you want.

6. Turn cleaning, picking up etc. into a game with kids. F.ex. put out a box and count how many toys each of you can put in there, the one who has a higher number wins. Have them help out with laundry etc. Doesn’t matter if they don’t do a good job, when they get older they will be used to doing housework and that will make things easier for you.

7. Don’t make a schedule just to motivate yourself. Schedules don’t motivate anyone, they are plans to finish and do work that you are already motivated to do. If schedule only makes you feel bad about not sticking to it, don’t do it.

8. Figure out what time during the day you feel most motivated to do work around the house. Even if it’s at strange hours, use that moment to get something done.

9. Divide the housework into cleaning and clutter control. Most people deal with the clutter before getting to the cleaning. The danger of that for ADHD people is that all the stuff they have to put away will either make them tired because they are not sure where to put it and are overwhelmed, or it will get their minds racing about interior design or things that need to be replaced or they find their lipstick at last and they have to try it on etc.

9. Clutter control. Get a lot of beautiful boxes and baskets, small and large and place them all over your home, in every room. Throw all the stuff that needs to be put away in those baskets until there is no clutter on counters, tables, beds, floor, around the sink, etc. Now clean.

10. Clean first, then deal with the clutter in the baskets. Once you’re done cleaning you are basically done, because you cleared all the clutter by throwing the stuff into baskets. That means the clutter wont wear you down before you get to the cleaning, resulting in an incomplete project, that will make you feel bad and not wanting to do this ever again and you lose all motivation. If you are energised after the cleaning, you can pick one baskets and put stuff into it’s right place, like clothes etc.

11. If you have a to do list. Write the next thing you are going to do on a post it note and put it somewhere where you see it. Keep the to do list out of sight. When you are done, cross over the post it note and the task on the to do list and put the next one up. ADHD people tend to think about all their projects at one. A bright colored post it note with one task, makes things easier to focus just on one task at a time. You will feel great about yourself when you see all the post it notes at the end of the day with all the stuff you got done.

12. Talk to Siri. If you are forgetful have your phone remind you to do stuff like make a doctors appointment or have the car cleaned.

13. Pick a small task and turn it into a habit. F.ex. put your shoes in the same place every time you take them off. Concentrate on practicing that until you just do it without thinking. Then pick another task.

14. Throw stuff in the washing machine every morning.

15. Listen to your thoughts. What are you thinking when you procrastinate? Do you feel overwhelmed? Is the task at hand difficult, boring, or do you need something to finish it and you don’t have it? What is stopping you? Do you feel you are not doing a good job and that’s why you are not doing it? It’s OK if you don’t know.

16. Are there times when you find yourself motivated? Figure out where that motivation comes from and use it.

17. Dress up for the task. Pick an outfit that you are comfortable in and treat it as your work-clothes and you are doing housework. Take them off at the end of the workday, and change to “at-home-mode”. It’s hard when the same place is your workplace and home.

18. Don’t be to hard on yourself. My aunt once gave me the advice to stress less about the mess, just dim the lights and light candles and read a book or chat with your loved ones.