Sunday, 21 February 2010

Housework and ADHD

When you have ADHD, one of the worst tasks imaginable is... housework. Not only is it boring and mundane, it also provides ample opportunity for procrastination and distraction to take place. What could be a two-hour cleaning spree could take all day. However, even though housework, such as cleaning and tidying, taking the trash out, etc. is not a pleasant prospect, it does need to be done, both from a health and safety standpoint, and for your mental and emotional well-being. You feel much better when you have a clean and tidy house. So how can you make it more interesting and even fun? Below is a winning formula!!!

1.  Get a piece of paper and a pen and write down every room that needs attention. For example:

-Living Room

You don't need to write down what you need to do in each room as that will be obvious once you are there.

By each room on your list, write down the number 10. (This stands for ten minutes.)

2.  Now go to the first room on the list, set your timer for 10 minutes and blitz. Do what needs to be done. It could be changing the linens on the bed, putting clothes away, vacuuming, etc. Start and then keep moving until the timer rings and the 10 minutes is up. A golden rule is don't leave the room you are working in (even for a second) during those 10 minutes. If you find an item that belongs in another room, put it by the door to be moved when the 10 minutes is up. This keeps your mind focused on the tasks in hand and minimizes the risk of distraction.

3.  When the timer goes off, stop what you are doing, even if you are in the middle of a task. This might be hard because our mind craves completion. However, it's because you DO stop and move from room to room that you remain motivated and energized. This is why this technique works so well. When the timer goes off, put a line through the 10 for the room you have just finished and then move to the second room.

4.  Do the same for each room on the list. This technique is so powerful that it keeps you on your toes. 10 minutes does not allow you to get bored. It creates a sort of race between you and the timer and keeps you motivated to keep going and not procrastinate.

5.  When you have finished all the rooms on your list (maximum 5 rooms), have a mini break. Drink some water and then start again at the beginning of your list and spend another 10 minutes in each room. By then you should have 5 clean and shiny rooms.

When you have finished, sit down for a rest and a cup of tea and flip through a magazine as a treat... you earned it!!!

Jacqueline Sinfield is an ADHD coach and author of the book, Untapped Brilliance: How to Reach Your Full Potential as an Adult with ADHD. She has worked in the healthcare field for nearly twenty years. She has an Honors degree in Psychology and trained & worked as a nurse in England before moving to Montreal, Canada where she has her own private coaching practise.

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