How do you psych yourself up for chores you hate?

I just finished cleaning the cat box and mopping the basement floor. The clean box and floor should be reward enough, but I celebrated with a glass of Pepsi (lots of ice) and a Reese’s, and the knowledge that I won’t do any other housework today.

This might not work every time though, or I might not have access to Pepsi and a Reese’s next time the box needs cleaning. What then? Outside of inviting people over, how do I motivate myself to do what has to be done around the house? How do you guys do it?

I just usually decide to quit thinking about it and jump right in. That way, I feel like I can’t stop in the middle, and I have to get it done.

Try to make the chore less boring by watching tv or a video or listening to the radio while I’m doing it. Also do a little at a time such as spending only ten minutes a day instead of the whole thing at once.

I start with a chore that is easy and that I don’t mind, like a bit of wiping counters with anti-bac wipes. Then I start to see dirt everywhere and I clean everything else, all in the same day.

Seeing as this only happens roughly every 3 months it’s a big job. Yes, me and my flatmates are disgusting. Once I start cleaning, they follow suit, so I choose a day when we are all off work so we can all do it.

Exactly. Not that I’m able to do this most of the time, but that’s just the strategy that seems to work: When you realize you should be doing something, start doing it BEFORE you think about it. Just mindlessly dive in and observe yourself DOING it. As soon as I start to think, I’m sunk.

I believe meditation is good practice for clearing the mind, so you’ll be able to avoi thinking when you need to do a chore. But I’ll need to meditate more often to confirm this.

I wait until the day before a big paper I have to write is due, then suddenly I realize my cups need to be reorganized by color.

I pretend I’m in an infomercial for whatever product I am using. That way I have to get the job done professionally otherwise I wont get paid.

I write out a list of everything I need to do that day at the beginning of the day. I get a great sense of satisfaction just from being able to cross something (and eventually everything) off the list, because I’m compulsive like that.

I’ve even been toying with the idea of assigning point values to certain tasks and keeping track, as silly as it may sound. I got the idea because I find myself going to extra lengths to unlock XBox achievements, which give “GamerPoints” even though there really is no reward for accumulating points. I just have this very goal-oriented mindset, and games that play into that have always been very addictive to me (especially MMOs). So I thought, why not apply that to my life?

Actually, inviting people over is what works for me. I have amazing capacities for blocking out the dirt I don’t want to clean, I can ignore disgusting floors for weeks on end.

My sister was helping me do some major cleaning the day before I was hosting a big party and remarked “You haven’t hosted anything in a while, have you?” She’d already twigged to the fact that I don’t bother doing any heavy cleaning unless people are coming over, dunno how that escaped my own awareness but I immediately realized she’s right.

So, I host something every month or six weeks. I need that external pressure.

This is works for me too. Just knowing that someone is going to be coming over is the pressure I need to get things done around the house.

I make a playlist. Who says you can’t dance and fold laundry at the same time?

I just put on music that I love and dance around while I do them and get them over with. Doing them isn’t nearly as bad as spending all day nagging yourself to do them.

I don’t. Ross Perot once handed out a kernel of [del]redneck[/del] cowboy wisdom by stating that it didn’t pay to look at the frog for too long before you had to swallow it.

Why one would *have *to swallow a frog, I have no idea, but then again, no one ever accused ol’ Ross of being the most stable, thoughtful man on earth.

I do a few of the things already listed - make a list, listen to the radio, host an event that forces me to clean…

This weekend I had a list and was hosting an event but was still lazy about it. I bought an audiobook from and found it was great for cleaning along with because I was very interested in continuing my chores to hear more of the story.

Avoiding an even more unpleasant task works for me, too. All it takes to get me to clean the bathroom is to think about cleaning my office.

As does kind of sneaking up on the job; wander into the room/casually pick up those papers, and just do it before thinking about it.

I save really unpleasant little tasks (scrubbing out the roasting pan that’s been soaking overnight) for those five minutes when the coffee is brewing; there is no better reward than that first cup of coffee in the morning.

BEHOLD! Chore Wars

I just do it in the order I hate, to the one I like the most.

Clean catbox
Clean countertops
Sweep floor
Clean bathroom/shower/toilet

Yes, cleaning the toilet is actually my favorite part, probably because we have foaming toilet cleaner.

I’m a lifelong procrastinator, but over the past couple of years it finally sunk in that I really do feel better when everything is done. Relaxing is so much more *relaxing *when there’s no guilt mixed in to it. That’s all the motivation I need most days, now.

Not ALL days, mind you. And on those days that I need a little extra help, I promise myself rewards. Once this is done, *then *I can read/watch that show/take a nap/have a drink/go for a walk etc.

I invite someone over who is a better housekeeper than I am. It’s amazing what shame can do for the general appearance of my digs. All of a sudden, I’m vacuuming and dusting like a motherfuck!

You’d be amazed at what you can get done if you don’t think about doing it.