Because Nobody’s Going to Pay You a Million Dollars To Clean Your House
Sometimes I wake up and think, “anything I do today will not be enough…so why bother?”
Are you thinking right now, “solidarity, sister!”
Talk about defeating ourselves before we even start.
When that happens, I have to trick my mind. And depending on what’s going on internally or externally, I constantly have to keep changing it up.
On the other hand, sometimes I’m soo motivated but cannot figure out how to start. Having too much to do can make it too paralyzing to choose one thing. When that’s the case, I employ a set of different games to help me focus. If that’s what you’re feeling, check out Too Many Bright, Shiny Objects: How To Stay Focused On Cleaning.
They Do Ooze Crumbs and Cat Hair Though
Here are some ways I get myself up and moving when I’m facing the Amityville Horror (my walls don’t ooze slime but I swear they try) and it seems impossible to make a dent.
By the way, if you’re feeling unmotivated because you’re depressed, that’s a whole different animal. I wrote a special post for that one, How To Motivate Yourself To Clean When You’re Depressed. I hope it helps, because being depressed is bad enough. Even in the best conditions.
But if your motivation is gone mostly because you feel like everything will only get messed up again anyway, or you simply want to play instead of work, then try these ways to jump start your battery.
The Judgment Game: Admit It, You’ve Been On the Other Side, Too
This game is straight forward.
Make believe company is arriving in two hours and do whatever you would normally do if that was the case.
Unless the thing you would normally do is get drunk. Don’t do that.
And don’t stash and dash either. Stash and dash is acceptable with five minutes’ notice – I’ve been there and done that.
However, these games are supposed to be an alternative to that age-old method of cramming stuff out of sight. The point is to avoid stashing a credit card statement in a box under the bed and forgetting about it.
Or stashing dirty dishes in the bathtub.
Because your mother-in-law looks in there anyway.
She does. I’m serious.
Sometimes, I admit, I take this game a step too far and invite people over.
#Impulsivity. The struggle is real.
The Drilling Method: If Mr. Clean Were a Drill Sergeant
Find a like-minded group on a message board chat room meetup. “Drill” with compatible souls who need accountability. Resist the urge to talk too much. Maybe by use of a timer?
When I used to do this, there were plenty of times that I “chatted” my time away instead of drilling.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
It works like this:
- Everyone says what they are going to do next.
- Everyone leaves for a set amount of time.
- Everyone returns and says what they did.
Surprisingly helpful, albeit strange. But not as strange as the next one.
The YouTube Star: Spit Is Not An All-Purpose Cleaner
Have you ever watched those “Clean With Me” videos on YouTube? Maybe I shouldn’t have said that. Please don’t click over and get distracted right now. Those videos can be addictive.
Believe it or not, pretending you are making a YouTube Clean With Me video can be motivating. You don’t have to actually run a camera (I have though). Cheerfully talk your way through cleaning your house, enthralling your audience.
Oddly enough, when I do this I take more care in what I’m doing. Even if there is no camera running. It’s like I convince myself that someone really is watching me, so maybe I shouldn’t lick my finger to rub away that syrup spot on the kitchen counter.
Bonus: If I’m actually using a real camera (all footage deleted immediately thereafter without being watched, by the way), it keeps me in the room.
I somehow feel violated now by sharing all of that with you.
Unfortunately, Creativity Equals All New Messes
I have friends who clean because their houses are dirty. Or even in anticipation of their house getting dirty. I admire them. They never seem to lack motivation. They do because it is. Case closed.
My own motivation, on the other hand, comes and goes. I absolutely love having a clean house. I have even been known to clean it to keep it from getting dirty.
Tidy, peaceful surroundings calm me and spark my creativity.
However, when my motivation is not intrinsic, I fall back on these mind games. For the times when I can’t make myself clean simply because, duh, my house is a mess.
If you, too, have trouble getting off the couch, one of the games I mentioned might get you going:
- The Judgment Game because we’ve all been there,
- The Drilling Method where you meet up with like-minded souls online and try not to get sucked into even more like-minded conversation, and
- The YouTube Star where you engage the most narcissistic part of yourself (not that YouTube stars are all narcissists but you aren’t getting paid so you just might be).
So turn off this computer or put your phone or tablet down, and let’s do this thing.
I refuse to use a “!” here. I am just not that motivated…