fred_mouse posting in bitesizedcleaning
I've most of a day at home with 'no interruptions' (I'm on my own until 12:30pm, and I have to leave at 3pm), so I'm trying to make progress on a number of things. And while I'm having a low pain day so I can do quite a bit of housework, I'm having a high scatty day, and trying to focus is really hard. I'm employing a number of tricks, but would be interested in hearing more.
So the first thing is that every 'task' set is either really short and obvious ('reply to yesterday's email from J'), or has a specific time limit ('spend 20 minutes tidying up the bedroom). This means that I'm getting lots of positive reinforcement, as I've put the tasks in Habitica, and get to tick them off and get rewards frequently. Secondly, I'm putting the tasks in to the list as they come to me, and then making myself do them in order, so that I don't end up at the end of the day having done either the fun or the easy ones, and then hating on myself for having left lots of shit jobs for Saturday, which is already hell on wheels.
Those of you who are also scatty will have looked at my twenty minutes, and laughed at me, because focusing that long? Yeah, I know. I've made iTunes give me an ~20 minute play list, and each time the songs change, it triggers me to think about what the next sub-task is, or whether I'm still on the task I started on. So far, that is working well. It also means that I know what the last song in the list is, and so when it gets to that, I look at the room and work out what the most urgent thing is that I want to finish.
But before that, I'm doing lots of talking out loud, lots of specifying what's next, and lots of counting. So, for example, in the bedroom, there was a pile of wash that needed folding and putting away, and I watched myself shy away from it several times, because it was Too Big (about half a wash basket). So I made myself count each item (15) as I put it away, and that kept me from losing track.
And reminding myself of the rule that I only have two hands, so I should only be looking at at most two things to deal with at any given time, and that the goal is to have done Something, rather than specific things in each room is helping as well.
And my break times are at the computer, but I've moved everything so I have to stand up, and that means that I don't want to linger there, which means that I'm actually getting back on task, because I look at the list on the computer, and then start the music, and then go to the next thing (I've finished three so far, and typing this has been my third 'on the computer' break, having got one of my email accounts read for the last two days)