There's nothing like two cups of coffee to motivate me to clean. I don't dislike cleaning, I just have trouble getting started cleaning. But once I get started, watch out... I can clean anything with bleach, water and plenty of towels. (I learned this skill in Brazil.) But today I wasn't using bleach - just your conventional cleaning supplies.
You can't really multi-task cleaning, but you can multi-thread it. This is the efficiency game I play. (I also sometimes add the wait till the last minute game to increase risk, but that's a totally different game, not to be confused with the procrastination game.) What are the things I want to accomplish and do today? Where do I want to be today? What else am I thinking about doing? And how can I that fit in?
I've been wanting to mop the floors in the house for a while. And Gloria mentioned painting the shed door before she left for Italy. Moki has been stinking and although I am afraid of his growls, I am determined not to live with a stinky dog. Yesterday, when I had some people over for lunch, I noticed how many leaves had fallen all over the terrace garden and upper deck. I have a surprise for Sam that I want to work on. So these are all the things on my mind (and in my GTD book) in addition to blog posts I've started and other projects that have action items. So, how to attack the day? With efficiency, fun, structure for freedom and the ability to throw all the planning out the window and do something completely different. (Just because I plan to do something, doesn't mean that I always do it. Planning gives me a path to diverge from at any point. Planning gives me possibilities.)
I stick my hand out into the whirlwind of project opportunities and a grasp a rake. A vacuum. A paintbrush. A mop. A rake. A broom. A green trash barrel. A black plastic bag. A bucket. A paintbrush. A rake. A black plastic bag. A paintbrush. A vacuum. A mop. A stack of towels. A couple dog biscuits. A dog. A shower-head. A towel. A handful of wet towels. A biscuit. A glass of soda and some lunch.
A couple hours later I've completed many of the things on my mind. Many of these projects took various steps, so I intertwined them together. Painting the shed door took a primer and two coats of paint, which had to dry in between them. So I raked and vacuumed and mopped between the coats. A threaded braid of cleaning activities. I talked to my neighbors, set up an email mailing list, washed the dog and took a shower myself.
This is the way I like to live. I like to have big and small projects that I can twist and weave and form around themselves and my life to make it interesting and fun. When I set my life up this way, I get into the flow. The momentum of the activities and projects moves me easily along. I'm making progress on many tasks all at once until I tie up the threads in a nice knot for the day. Nothing hanging lose.
Now it's time to go out!