You may think I’m crazy but stick with me through this idea. To clean up in 30 seconds may seem like too short of a time to do anything at all. It isn’t a lot of time, it really isn’t, but that is the point of this article. The point is to set up something you can achieve. Something you are able to say, “I made a difference in my home and in my life today.” 30 seconds makes an impact, a difference, a motivation. When we KNOW something and when we FEEL something is a completely different catalyst in our lives. Only by feeling will you make a change.
Actually count your seconds. Count to 30 while you pick up or whatever you are doing. You have an option at this point, you can end at this point and go to bed, run out the door, tend to the kids, or start your ME time OR you can continue counting to 60 while you complete whatever you just started. At the end of 60 seconds, however you MUST stop. There isn’t a choice after that. I can do all this in 30 seconds:
- Put 1/4 of my dishwasher away or so
- Pick up toys out of one room or outside and put them in a laundry basket to deal with later
- Put items collected earlier away
- Wipe down all of my kitchen counters
- Load my dishwasher (not fully but enough to make an impact)
- Clear any clutter from any room in the house
- Wipe down my bathroom counter and the toilet
- Clean my bathroom mirror and faucet
- Put away some clothes from the last load of laundry
- Make my bed
- Touch up/organize my measuring cup drawer – or any other drawer besides junk drawer
- Open and stack my bills from the mail (throw the garbage away), put the stack where it belongs
- Throw away (or refill) empty bottles in the bathroom/laundry room/cleaning closet
I tend to count a little fast so I make it a little game in my head, which keeps me focused too. It’s important that you make this fun for yourself so next time you won’t have to hype yourself up to get it done.
Focus only on one thing. You don’t have time to get distracted and honestly if you are counting in your head or out loud, you should be able to stick to one task for 30 seconds. Do the thing you set out to do ONLY! If you want to pick up one room, do only that. If you want to go through the house and collect the trash, do only that. If you are refilling soap containers, do only that.
Doing what you set out to do will help you feel accomplished at the end of your task and at the end of the day, allowing for better rest tonight. It will also help to keep you motivated and realize how much you can actually get done in such a short amount of time.
When I first started this “practice” I was going to work at 3 am, dealing with a sick baby and 3 other kids. Before I would go to work I would count to 30 and do whatever I could. At night I would do it again in between when the baby fell asleep and when I would get in bed. Sometimes when he needed to be held I would count to 30 and use one hand, or wrap him in my body wrap and get as much as possible done. Sometimes that was all the cleaning I did, but I was fine with that, I had other things that took priority over cleaning at that time in my life.
Now I do it whenever I see an opening. It’s not too often but once or twice a day makes a difference in my house and in my life. The best time for this practice is at night. When you are shutting off all the lights and locking all the doors for the night, count to 30 and feel accomplished. It is very easy to fit into your nightly routine.
I mentioned before that after 60 seconds you MUST stop! There is only one rule in this game and that is it. STOP! Your body and mind will figure out that when you sike yourself up to count to 30 and clean up a bit, you actually mean 30 seconds. You will be much more likely to be able to count again later that day or the next day. It is so easy to keep going once you start but then next time you tell yourself you are going to clean for 30 seconds, you don’t actually believe you.
You can do anything for 30 seconds right? Even when you are so tired you can’t see straight. Even when you are heading out the door. 30 seconds is nothing! But it makes such a huge difference. Tell yourself 30 seconds and follow through with 30 seconds. Don’t lie to yourself, that’s the worst kind of liar. hehe
Look and Admire
Check out the space you just cleaned up, think about and feel what kind of difference that just made for you and for your family. Now take a breath and smile. Be aware of how your body has relaxed even if it’s just a little bit. A little bit goes a long way. Those piles you just took care of will keep others from adding to them. You home looks better, picked up and maybe even cleaner. Be proud! It’s tempting to look at how much you didn’t get done after this short amount of time. DON’T! Look at how much you did. It was a spruce, a quick clean, a difference. You feel that now.
You no longer have to sike yourself up when you clean, just count to 30 and know that it’s good enough for right now, it will get you through this time in your life until you are able to spend a little more time on it.
Rules of the game:
Count to 30-60
Peace and Balance,