Five-Minute Chores & Small Rewards

I know I’ve raved on and on about Break Reminder in the past, but I just have to do it again.

As I’ve said before, I keep it set to force a 20-second break every 15 minutes, with a longer break every hour. I’ve also configured it so that the screen goes blank during those breaks, and the keyboard and mouse are locked out (necessary to enforce the breaks, because otherwise, I am a bad, bad girl). The only thing I’d ask for now is that it automatically put up away messages for my chat clients (and I did send that to the company as a suggestion).

Anyway, something suggested recently on one of the many organizing newsletters I read was that you make a list of chores that take about 5 minutes. You cut 3 x 5 cards into quarters, note one chore on each, and stick them into a jar or something similar. Every time you have five minutes, you grab a card and do that chore. The finished ones are put into another container.

So every time Break Reminder locks me out, I do one chore. That gets me up and moving, so I don’t get as stiff. It also changes the focus of what I’m looking at, which reduces eyestrain. It’s amazing how many things you can break down into five-minute chunks, and before long you can really see a difference around the house.

Limiting myself to ONE chore also helps me avoid the hyperfocus that is all too easy due to obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Now I’m working on figuring out rewards for myself. I’m not good at taking care of myself, certainly not rewarding myself in any way. curiousmay9 has repeatedly mentioned doing that as a way of motivating herself, and finally talked me into trying it. I figure I’ll count up the cards I’ve done in a day and tie that to a reward somehow.

Here are the chores I’ve thought of so far – any suggestions?

Move laundry forward
Clean one ceiling fan
Clean one window
Clean out the car
Put away CDs (necessary because we tend to take them out, listen to them, and let them pile up on the entertainment center)
Clean one light fixture
Wipe down kitchen counters
Straighten one cabinet
Brush the cat
Straighten one drawer
Swish one toilet
Clean up cat food mess (she’s always getting food on the floor around her dishes)
Dust one piece of furniture
Clean the mirrors in one bathroom
Sweep the hard floors
Scrub any dirty pots/pans
Clear one bedroom surface
Refill all the soap dispensers
Get anything off the floor in one room
Declutter one bookcase (they tend to collect things that don’t belong there)
Clean the front of one kitchen cabinet (a constant chore with an all-white kitchen)
Clean the front of the stove
Clean one of the dish storage shelves
Clean interior car windows
Check the car’s oil
Declutter the bar area
Clean one of the surfaces on the outside of the fridge
Sweep the porch
Clorox-mop the hard floors
Clean the microwave
Straighten one pantry shelf
Check the fridge for any scary stuff
Dust the pictures hanging in the hall
Vacuum the living area
Vacuum one bedroom floor
Fill the bird feeders
Fill the cat’s water fountain
Cocoa butter the cat (she has sores that she keeps picking at, so we put cocoa butter on them to help them heal and keep her away from them a little)
Clean the front of the dishwasher
Scrub the sink with an SOS pad
File something
Clean one fridge shelf
Tilex one shower
Clear off the kitchen table if it’s cluttered
Dust the pictures in the living room
Dust the pictures in the hall
Feed/water the plants
Clean the range & its hood
Make up one bed
Load and run the dishwasher
Unload the dishwasher
Put away one load of laundry
Iron two items of clothing
Clean TV & monitor screens
Beat out the doormats
Declutter one entertainment center shelf
Get empty hangers out of one closet
Toss old magazines from the living room
Scrub one tub
Clean one bathroom sink/vanity
Add water to flower vases
Clear one surface in the office

Current Mood: working
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
Posts created 4262

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top