I don’t love housework. Joan Rivers said it right, ‘I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.’
For years, I’ve largely avoided such activity by paying someone to take care of it for me – and do a far better job than I would. Now, in my small and temporary perch, it’s hard to justify asking someone to wash the floor and clean the bathroom.
Choosing to do my own domestics doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly fallen in love with the process, though there is something strangely beguiling about lemon-scented furniture polish… But I digress.
For the past two Sundays, a new strategy has emerged to make short work of pesky chores and reclaim my weekend from guilt and grime. You might know of the Pomodoro Technique, a time management tool created by Francesco Cirillo, and named for the tomato-shaped kitchen timer. It’s a technique that sees you do one activity for twenty-five minutes, then another for five. And repeat.
Turns out it’s useful for housework too, because it gets me moving to complete quick jobs, while leaving guilt-free blocks of time for the things I love most. It’s amazing how fast a loo can be cleaned when there’s a 25-minute reading treat waiting on the other side. The house has never looked so sparkly.
Pomodoro Sunday is quickly becoming the most anticipated and productive day of my week. Happy to do housework? Who could have known! Time perhaps to apply the strategy to other days and other projects.
Life is full of creative hacks that enable us to use our best time to do what we love. Five minutes is a drop of time, enough to get beyond the have-tos, and then glide into the want-tos. Bliss.