"I am running out of time and there is so much to do "is a much heard refrain, especially in a busy homemaker's day. Well, getting organised sure helps but then there is that one something that is a big help when we need assistance in getting the focus into our activities. I am talking about the kitchen timer here which, amongst other things, can also be a great help in bringing focus to cleaning. Now how do they help? Listed below are ways that a kitchen timer can be used to focus on your cleaning chores.
Cleaning is not a joyous activity to be involved in for most of us and doing it over long periods of time, especially homes which have toddlers and pre-schoolers. Children are equally joy-giving as work-creating and can especially be a drain on our mental resources. A timer helps in ensuring that your cleaning gets done in brief power modules, by giving you a mental goal which is achievable and not frustrating. Hence finishing the cleaning portion within the set time gives you a sense of achievement and also provides an impetus for the next module.
Breaking your cleaning activity into achievable portions, not only helps you get through to the "BIG Finish" but can also be used to involve your children - whose attention and interest spans being smaller than the regular adults - in their step towards taking on responsibility with these smaller goals. These little adults will also learn to shoulder their bit and will like it when it takes the tone of a game - timer set, busy action and the timer goes off signaling a win! This is also a lesson in better time management, where they can realise that some activities take less time than they had estimated and hence, saved time and this can instil a sense of self worth. Don't forget your house is getting cleaned amidst all this learning.
When one has a lot of cleaning to do, there is every chance that we get so involved in it, that we get sucked into the detailed cleaning of one section or area of the house. You know the refrain, "while I am on this, I might as well do this too". While this is good when there is only one area to do, it is not good news when the whole house is waiting to be cleaned. The timer brings focus to our activity then - ensuring that we distribute our time in an equitable manner to making the whole house reasonably clean rather than one room squeaky clean.
Setting a time forces your mind to decide on the most priority cleaning and also the most impactful. Thus one won't waste time removing the half dead herb from the kitchen window sill, but will move to clean the sink and get the dirty dishes into the dishwasher.
The timer helps you look forward to it going off as you can get your break - catch a cup of tea, read a magazine, etc. It enhances the value of your break, as you feel you've earned it without that irrational feeling of guilt which a messy home sometimes gives. Remove the stress out of your cleaning - remember the timer is on your side!