quarridors: Not high on sugar (September 2010)
If you're following me on Twitter, I think it's becoming increasingly clear that I have some problems with 'executive function'-like things, such as managing to do the housework! I've been coming up with new schemes and plans to make sure the washing up gets done for as long as I've had a sink of my own, and yet I'm still failing to manage to keep to them for more than a couple of days!

As such I'm now giving up on the idea of washing up every day! In fact I'm giving up on ever managing to do the washing up any more frequently than what I've been consistently managing regardless of what I actually intend - about once a week. What I'm now trying to do is develop good habits that stop the kitchen from becoming a depressing health hazard in the times between washing up sessions!

My last attempt at this was attempting to develop a habit (ie, do it every day for a month), but the habit failed because it was far too ambitious for me to do on days like this when I've worked almost 10 hours with only two hours of not very restful noisy sociable lunch break and 30 minutes of non-work, non-social time! On days like this it's an achievement when I manage to eat a meal (at 10pm, whoops!), washing up as well is never going to happen!

The new super simple habits I'm aiming to develop are to once a day:

  1. Rinse all the dishes from that day and pile them neatly
  2. Throw away any piles of rubbish (like tea bags) that have developed because I don't like to touch the bin (I REALLY need a different type of bin)
  3. Pour away any water used for soaking things that wouldn't rinse

I think (hope!) that even I can manage those!

Doing that should make doing the dishes far less daunting and disgusting when I actually do have the time and energy to do them properly (all in one go, usually on Sunday).

Rinsing is a big portion of the work in doing the washing up for real, so this should give me a head start and may naturally lead to me doing small amounts of washing up mid-week. I'll also have a considerably more empty sink and should never have to deal with the job of tipping away a bowl full of pond water and rinsing the stinky residue off of all of the dishes (yes, yes, I have a problem).

...although by blogging about it, I have now probably doomed it to failure! :)
quarridors: Not high on sugar (September 2010)
My plan to trick myself into being a functional adult without going through the doomed hyperactive 'CLEAN ALL THE THINGS' stage seems to be working.

The trick is currently not to let myself get distracted from cleaning up after things. No excuses, I clean up immediately. This means pausing the TV and getting up and doing the washing up in *gasp* the middle of an episode (I KNOW RIGHT?).

So starting this wasn't too daunting, I let myself off doing the epic pile of dirty recycling in one go and I'm soaking some of it with the left over washing up water every time. I'm down to only a small pile now.

The reward after cleaning the things is to go back to the TV show/website/Twitter conversation etc I stopped halfway in the middle of. Having a reward is important.

So far this is working, I'm even cleaning more things than just the dishes. I finish the washing up and go 'hmm this thing is also dirty, might as well clean that'. I am giving myself the habit of tidying up after myself, like a grown up or vaguely well trained child does!

This strategy took me until I was 32 year old to work out :)

...although it's not been a week yet, so I guess we'll he how long I take to burn out with it ramped down to 'clean SOME of the things'...

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