Monday, May 4, 2015

Clutter-Buster Challenge: Day 4

My favorite cleaning tool in the world is a simple egg timer. 

What's that you say? An egg timer isn't a cleaning tool? 

I beg to differ, my dear. 

I am convinced that an egg timer and a good apron are all that's required to keep a semi-clean house. (And semi-clean is about as good as it gets 'round these parts.) 
 Here's why: 

1. An egg timer helps me tackle big projects with small steps. I determine how much time I have, or how much time I'm willing to give. Then I set the timer and get to work. It helps me overcome Perfection Paralysis which tells me that if I can't do it all right now, then I shouldn't even start. It also defeats my procrastination when I just don't feel like spending three hours cleaning something. I tell myself, "I'm going to clean for 20 minutes."  I can do anything for 20 minutes. When the timer runs out, I stop working, whether I'm done or not.

2.  An egg timer keeps me focused. Studies have shown that multi-tasking doesn't actually help us get more accomplished. On the contrary, dividing our time and energy among too many things can hinder our momentum and wear us out more quickly. So my kiddos and husband know: if the timer is set, leave mom alone (unless they want to get recruited for work). I can get more done in 20 minutes (with a timer), than in an hour full of "multi-tasking."

3. An egg timer shows me that housework doesn't take as long as I think it does. Today I woke up knowing I had to mop my kitchen floor. Ugh. I really hate that job. It feels detailed and time consuming, and I just wasn't in the mood. So I pulled out the handy dandy egg timer and set it for 20 minutes. By the time the bell dinged, I had swept my entire kitchen, moved the kitchen chairs out of the way, and mopped 3/4 of my floors. It took me an additional 4 minutes to finish the job (which I did). Who knew that sweeping/mopping my floors only took 24 minutes?!

If you don't have an egg timer, you can use a microwave or oven timer - or even your phone! I like the egg timer because the "tick tick tick" reminds me to stay on task,and it has a very satisfying "ding!" at the end. So grab your timer today, turn on some upbeat music, let your family know what's going on, and get to work! 

Day 4 Challenge: Pick one area that you have been putting off. Maybe, like me, it's mopping your kitchen floors. Maybe it's wiping down cabinets or cleaning behind your toilet. Maybe it's an overflowing closet. Set your timer for 20 minutes and get after it! When the timer goes off, you're done! Comment below and let us know how it went! Did you finish in the 20 minutes? Did you realize it would only take a few more minutes to finish and kept going? Did you make a dent in an otherwise daunting task? We want to celebrate with you; so let us know!

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