I'm a procrastinator and I'm lazy. Those two things make me a terrible house wife. My husband has been out of town for work all week and the house was... worse for the wear. One thing I am very good at, and took pride in when it came to college midterms and papers, is the ability to pull it off in the end. I always get it done, and always got an A on that paper (after pulling an all-nighter). The same goes with things around the house. I'm very good at pulling it together at the last minute after weeks of letting it fall apart. Here's how I do it:
1. Write out a list. Include everything large and small.
I even write down showering so that I can feel accomplished when I cross it off my list.
2. Do not multitask (except for laundry)
Multitasking is a great way to break your spirit. You get a lot done, but no one area gets thoroughly clean. The only exception is keeping laundry going, and running to take care of it as soon as you hear the beep. De-cluttering and cleaning is easier when you break it down and stay focused. Pick up all the dirty dishes in one go instead of picking up every little thing in sight.
When I find laundry soap from the last shopping trip that never made it to the laundry room, I do not deliver it there. I put it on the stairs leading up to the laundry room and only take it with me when I have to go up there anyway. This does two things: it keeps me from seeing some other mess that may distract me, and it keeps unnecessary running around to a minimum. And that brings us to...
3. Embrace child labor
My daughter gets really, really excited to help. She's very helpful if given very specific tasks that keep her out from under my feet. I like to send her up and down those stairs a lot. "Can you put these headphones down with Dad's computer?" "Please put this shoe up in your bedroom." "Now this shoe!"
She spends the entire day with a big grin on her face because she's being such a big helper, and it increases the chances of a nap. And napping was on my list.
4. Prioritize and pick your battles
Look real hard at your list and the amount of time you're realistically going to spend doing this. Today I had eight daunting tasks to get done before my husband came home from a work trip. I had six hours to get it done. Knowing myself, I would likely get distracted and need lots of breaks. Cleaning the toothpaste out of the sink is less urgent than scrubbing up the results of a dog terrified by New Year's fireworks.
5. Most importantly, forgive yourself if you don't get it all done, and make yourself a list for tomorrow.
I employ this one a lot.