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Alternative strategies for tedious home cleaning chores

Not a great weekend feeling

It’s Friday already, a fun weekend is coming up. Nothing on my mind for a while. Although … the house “must clean. Just the thought of spending a few hours cleaning spoils the weekend joy. No sense in it. But it has to be done. Just negotiating with myself about when I’m going to clean the toilet takes a mountain of energy. That results in procrastination and on Sunday evening irritated scrubbing the toilet quickly. Since I’ve split up cleaning into small jobs over several days, it’s much easier.

Low dopamine job

Cleaning for me is a “low dopamine job,” unrewarding and ultimately boring. The little voice in my head has 1,000 excuses ready for me not to start. The longer it takes, the more I dread it. One strategy that works for me is to divide the job into smaller jobs that take less time. That entails that I do have to come up with a set schedule for these little jobs. So the overhead of planning is slightly higher, but the discomfort and procrastination is a lot less than with a big long boring job. Net, this is more advantageous for me.


Since I work with a handy task manager like Todoist, I also put my cleaning chores in here. This has the advantage of not having to negotiate in my head when I tackle cleaning chores. Furthermore, I do get a dopamine moment when I get to check off a chore, which makes it easier to get started. If I want to do the chore on another day, but then I have to decide on which day.

My favorite schedule

  • Saturday morning: vacuuming and dusting + running laundry
  • Sunday: shower + toilet cleaning
  • Monday: folding laundry
  • Thursday: kitchen cleaning

Developing alternative strategies

The chores around the house are a great metaphor for my chores at work. There are many low-dopamine chores there as well that I procrastinate endlessly around. By experimenting with different strategies with these jobs, you make it a game to still get them done easily. Also, you get to know yourself by noticing thoughts while postponing and performing these functions.

Need help developing alternative strategies to deal with procrastination?
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Job Baart de la Faille

Ik ben een online coach die je helpt om slimmer te werken (en niet harder). Via online coaching help ik je om jouw eigen systeem en gedrag te ontwikkelen.

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