The One Selfish Trick I Use to Get Things Done at Home



“One of the many nuggets of wisdom I’m marinating over these days is around setting intention based on how you want to feel, rather than what you want to accomplish.”

–Shawna // hope*ologie member



As I think about rhythm this month I can’t help but apply it to my to do list, especially in my neglected home. It’s heavy right now, I’m guessing yours might be too?

Instead of thinking about what I want to cross off my long boring list, I think about the way I hope to feel at the end of my day.

Sometimes the thought of doing laundry or mopping the floor makes me feel like a robot who wants a lobotomy.

I’m actually really domestic. Domesticated? Domestical? Domesticized?

I truly love being home and I get a lot of joy out of finished home tasks.

Notice I didn’t say I enjoy doing domestic things, but rather, I enjoy the fact that I have done them.

I get a lot of satisfaction out of having a clean floor. I feel like providing a good dinner for my family is one of the most valuable things I can do for them. It doesn’t mean that I always like the act of doing those things, but I get a huge sense of accomplishment having done them.

For me, having a good meal available and having the house clean(ish) are their own reward.

So because I know how good I feel when those things are done, that’s what I focus on–that accomplished feeling I’ll have once it’s done.

And it doesn’t even mean that I always have to be the one to do it. Maybe we order out, maybe I used Plated or Blue Apron, maybe my husband makes the meal. Maybe I hire a maid service to clean my floors or maybe I skip it all together –I’ve done all of these at different times in my life.

But I seem to feel happier when I’m making sure dinners and basic cleaning are getting done.


So instead of thinking UGH, I have to mop the floors and there are so many seemingly boring steps: moving the chairs, sweeping the rug, sweeping the floor, moving the dog dish and ALWAYS spilling the water in said dish, locking the dog and cats outside and putting up with cat cursing in the form of loud meows at me through the glass door, sweeping and finally mopping, then letting it dry and moving everything back.

Instead of thinking about that I think how nice it would feel if by the time the boys got home from school I had the floors all mopped. Not for them, but for me {see how it can seem selfish–but it’s not!}, because I appreciate a clean floor and I like the feeling I have when they are clean.

Often, I even give myself permission to not mop the floors. But I’m surprised at how the option of feeling so good about the clean floors wins out.

So instead of writing out a long to do list of my cleaning tasks I hate to do, I’ll focus on accomplishing one thing today at home that will make me feel so good when I’m done that it will be worth the trouble of doing it.

I’ll ask myself:

What’s one good thing I can do at home today that will make me feel best about being at home when I’m finished doing that thing?

Possible answers:

  • planning dinner
  • mopping the floor {have you realized that’s my most hated job?}
  • taking a shower
  • cleaning the shower
  • taking a nap
  • cleaning out the fridge
  • reading a book
  • a million other things–

When my home feels like it’s bossing me, I feel like a guilty slave, but when I’m the boss of my home–deciding YES, I’m gonna do that now or NO that can wait till later–then I’m free to enjoy my day.

It’s a rhythm. I’m the boss of it, and it works for me. Not the other way around.


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  1. Jenn Rogers says

    My “selfish trick” lately is audio books and podcasts. I can listen from my phone and use earbuds if necessary. I painted my daughter’s room with a book and I can motivate a workout by listening to a favorite podcast.

  2. Shannon Kruger says

    I loved this. I’ve been trying to approach the mundane stuff with the attitude of how much easier it will make the evening/week/weekend if its done and its helping a lot. Of course you stated it more eloquently but I agree completely. My selfish trick is simply saying “no” to anything on Monday mornings & any other times that I think will conflict with getting to a peaceful state in the home. It stinks to turn down fun invitations but its soooooo worth it later.

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