How technology can help reduce the overwhelming feeling of everyday tasks and chores

Anyone can feel overwhelmed by the amount of time, energy, and mental space it takes to keep up with daily chores. And for many people with executive dysfunction, ADHD, depression, or similar conditions, dealing with chores can become a burden of its own. While the fully self-cleaning home isn’t a reality yet, technology can help make these everyday tasks a little easier. Here are some ways to take some of the stress out of cleaning and reduce the risk of overwhelm.


1. Use cleaning apps

For many people, a clean, tidy living space can help them gain a sense of control and peace of mind, according to a Cleveland Clinic article. Not to mention that cleaning your home regularly can lead to better air quality, clean cooking surfaces and fewer germs in the bathroom, all of which are important to your overall well-being. Clutter, meanwhile, can sometimes lead to feelings of distraction or tension.

However, there are so many tasks involved in maintaining your living space and sometimes you don’t know where to start. In these cases, the structure that apps provide simplifies and automates the cleaning process. Whether they make tidying up a game or simplify your cleaning schedule, these apps make household chores easier and take that excess stress off your brain so you can focus more on the present moment.

Tody

Designed to make tidying up easier, the Tody app tracks and prioritizes your cleaning habits. You can keep track of daily tasks as well as those occasional tasks to keep your place orderly.

Start by setting up a selection of tasks for each room in your living space. For example, you can dust and vacuum the living room, while the kitchen is given tasks of wiping the countertops and cleaning the sink. Choose from a list of tasks for each room or add your own.

You have to stick to your routine to keep Dusty, the animated, dirt-loving cartoon character, at bay. There’s something motivating about the creature’s taunts every time you clean up your space, and it’s a fun way to gamify your cleaning routine. You can also divide tasks among the members of your household. There’s also the option to regularly rotate tasks to ensure no one gets stuck with the same chore too often.

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Breaking down each area into manageable tasks, the app’s divide-and-conquer approach helps make cleanup a whole lot easier. Even if you miss a day or two here and there, it’s easy to get back into the cleanup stream (and beat Dusty). By using Tody, you no longer have to worry about which task to do next and which to keep forgetting. Plus, you can easily jump back into the “game” at any time, so there’s no pressure when you go off schedule.

to download: Tody for iOS ($6.99) | android (Free, in-app purchases available)

dirt-free

Get gentle prompts every day to complete your tasks with this cleaning-focused app. The app also offers smart suggestions if you’re overwhelmed, so you can transfer some of the stress of even scheduling a cleaning session to the app.

Start by selecting one task that you can do each day, such as cleaning the dinner table. Over time, add tasks for every part of your home, whether that’s cleaning the microwave or taking out the trash. The app offers a variety of suggested tasks for each area and you can also request new tasks to add to the app. You also determine the frequency with which tasks should be performed, whether that is daily or semi-annually.

Tasks automatically show up in your app when they’re due, and you can snooze anything that doesn’t fit into your schedule that day. You can also assign tasks to specific members of your household. There’s even a focus mode with a timer to help you focus on the day’s tasks for a set amount of time. That’s a great addition for people who like to track the time they spend on activities to appreciate the work they put into it.

A stats page keeps track of your cleaning streaks and you can earn badges for cleaning a certain number of days in a row. It’s fun to watch the rewards pile up for your efforts. But the app’s core features — suggested tasks, date-based hardening, and focus mode — make it a great companion for those who constantly worry about chores.

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to download: Dirt-free for iOS (Subscription required, free trial available)

Homey – Chores and allowances

If you’re trying to get kids involved in household chores (delegating is a great way to take some of the stress off your plate), the Homey app can help simplify that process. Duties include both responsibilities, which are tasks assigned to specific family members, and tasks, which are more challenging tasks. Activities can, for example, be mopping and vacuuming the entire house.

Create profiles for each family member and then assign them specific tasks or chores. The app includes a pre-selected list of tasks for each household, so you can scroll through a list and point it out instead of typing everything from scratch. If you want, you can demand a photo for each job completed. You can scroll through the to-do lists at any time to see what each family member has completed.

In addition, an allowance function adds financial incentives to the chores. You can choose to pay the surcharge immediately afterwards. For the most part, the Homey app is a thorough and versatile option for families breaking down household chores. It helps you manage both your chores and your family’s responsibilities without stressing who does what each day.

to download: Homey – Chores and compensation for iOS | android (Free, subscription available)

2. Automate and outsource tasks

Where possible, let appliances take over household tasks. Most people are familiar with the smart robot vacuum cleaners that remove dust and pet hair. However, there is also a large selection of robotic mops that scrub hard floors clean at the touch of a button.

Also put virtual assistant technology to work. There are some great Alexa work from home skills that can help you clear up, like the Chore Chart and Whose Turn. You always know which person in your household is responsible for specific tasks, so you don’t have to guess when cleaning up.

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In addition, various websites and apps make outsourcing your chores easier than ever. For example, hampr offers laundry pick-up and drop-off services via the app. Services like Correctly make it easy to schedule cleaning services online, and you can also search for local cleaning companies in your area.

3. Find a cleaning buddy

Call a friend on Zoom and clean for a few minutes at the same time, or ask a virtual accountability partner to keep track of your tasks. Sometimes a little social boost is all it takes to get started with your to-do list.

4. Use timers to stay focused

Try to do your cleaning in specific time frames. You might be surprised at how much is achieved in 15 to 20 targeted minutes. And if you have trouble concentrating for long periods of time, you can adjust the steps for an amount of time that suits you. Do several 10-minute chunks of cleaning instead of cleaning for 30 minutes at a time, with 2-minute breaks in between. That way, your brain doesn’t feel like it’s being flooded with hours of cleaning a week.

To use this technique, use your phone’s clock feature or download one of the great mobile timer apps available such as Brain Focus or Goodtime. If you’re already a fan of the Pomodoro Technique for work, then the best free Pomodoro productivity apps are also useful for cleaning up. Just about any task seems more doable in 25 minute increments or less. Don’t forget to reward yourself at the end!

Let Tech relieve the stress of tidying up

Whether you use apps to organize your chores or automate and outsource household chores, technology can help make tidying up a little easier if it’s already struggling to balance other concerns and responsibilities. Sometimes the right apps and devices are all you need to take the stress out of cleaning up.

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