How to make Household tasks enjoyable? #Lockdown2020
Now that we have to all chip in for household chores, much more than before some people like it better than others. For people who find these tasks to be more burdensome, doing the same tasks day-in-day-out can become supremely frustrating after a time.
Here are some ‘tips and tricks’ from business management lessons to make your day a bit better, every day.
- EAT that Frog-
If there is a certain loo that needs to be cleaned, or garbage that needs to be cleared, or a steadily rising and unconquered mountain of dishes, or a conspicuous stinky smell coming from that bottomless well you call a fridge- it’s time to tackle that monster. Leaving that to later will not make it go away- and in fact, will make it much much worse with each passing day.
It is a good idea to listen to Nike and Just Do it.
2. Food Management.
Now that we have taken care of the BIG SCARY MONSTER tasks that rear their heads now and then, it is another one that rears it’s head just as much.
Breakfast. Lunch.Dinner.Tea.Snacks.Late night Snacks. And if you have picky eaters/kids- my thoughts and prayers are with you. The single most and best tool to manage that is- a meal plan.
Having a meal plan saves the actual cooking time by at least 50%. You are not doing the thinking to recipe to prep just before cooking. You are also not answering “What's for dinner” questions or taking last-minute custom requests like “Why don't we have some-random-time-consuming-insane masala curry with soul-drainer on the side”? and thereby saving your sanity by 100%.
Take out sometime any day of the week to come up with a plan as per inhouse skills and pantry. Share it with your peeps and set expectations with all stakeholders- ones that need to prep or cook or eat. “What will you like have for dinner”- is a question that needs to be asked ONCE a week.
It is surprising how we humans react to the written word and for more impact- an official looking paper. Here’s something I made (www.canva.com)and changed to look a bit official that has FLIPPED my week!
3. Rewards and Gamification of household chores-
Many of us don’t like boring mundane tasks because they do not challenge the mind OR the body and finally do not feel to be as rewarding as something that we would accomplish at the workplace. Everyone works for acknowledgment if not rewards.
Hence, it is often fun to gamify the boring activities.
Set up a time-challenge for house-tidying activity with a point reward/Netflix time reward or monetary reward for self or for competing teams :) !
I like to set up a time challenge for activities like dishes washing or laundry folding and then I reward myself with special cuppa tea or leisure reading time.
Even without explicit rewards, racing against time and completing an activity feels like an accomplishment, with the actual task finishing being an added bonus.
4. DO NOT MULTITASK
Multitasking is the biggest scam of all time. This is a serious one, because everyone thinks they can get away with it.
Do you think you can catch up on the new season of Money Heist while washing dishes? Well, guess what- it takes double the time. I used to watch this Korean series while making rotis, and I swear it used to take forever to get out of the kitchen. You might as well have speed-finished those and then watched the new episode chilling with a beer.
Somehow, humans can process information coming in from multiple dimensions, but we cannot execute multiple tasks together at the same time. There is always a wastage of time or energy or both.
Your best bet to help manage the task fast and efficiently is Spotify/Podcasts or even Audible. That works well since you CAN process multiple audible inputs but even that can get tiring if prolonged.
Best, even if it sounds a little old-fashioned, is to focus on ONE task. Get Done. Move to Next.
Try this in your home :)
5. Think Like a CEO- Prioritize. Prioritize. Prioritize.
When managing the house and household chores, it’s best to think like a CEO. You are always going to have your plate full with limited time, money and resources. So, you have to learn to prioritize as per how you want to run your business. What is of a bigger priority, and what needs to just function. Based on that you can prioritize work items as well as household items.
It’s best to start with a list- and jot down the priority/importance of that task item. The primary aim should be to finish urgent/critical tasks and then move down to other items as per bandwidth/willingness.
Since most of us are working from home- our calendar is our bane and boon.
Schedule all activities on the calendar including non-office related activities. Bind them by the time allotted and stick to that just as you would for any meeting. Start the day earlier, if possible to ease in a new set schedule.
While in office, we mostly get to break for lunch or tea. It becomes very difficult at home. Block your calendar for lunch and tea for every day at the same time. Well placed breaks only work as efficiency enhancer.
To make your household chores easier to manage-
- Do not avoid the critically delayed tasks that have now become bothersome monsters.
- Make a Meal Plan.
- Gamify mundane chores
- Avoid Multitasking. Focus on one. Get it done. Move to next.
- Set and create a schedule. Start the day early if possible.
- Add all tasks on a calendar and stick to timelines.
These changes helped me to bring my house in order when there was none to be found. If I found sanity- you can too ! or if there is something that helped you, do write a response!