Do simple, easy and light chores during boring or non-critical conference calls to free up more personal time for yourself.
You’ve heard of the phrase, “There are only two things guaranteed in life - death and taxes.”

Whoever said that forgot about fucking house chores.

Whether it’s the stack of dirty dishes in the sink, the pile of laundry in the hamper or the general clutter of the entire house, there’s always something that needs to be cleaned, organized or taken care of.

And nobody wants to spend their free time doing chores. It takes time away from fun and relaxing activities during the evenings and weekends.

It’s an unavoidable task that everyone has to deal with.
The good news is that when you’re working from home, you have the huge benefit of being able to knock out some of these annoying chores while also working. And, if you do this right, it won’t impact your work productivity and it’ll open up so much more free time for you to kick back and chillax.

Do Chores During Conference Calls

Not all types of office tasks are well-suited for multitasking with house chores.

Obviously, anything that requires you to be at your computer and/or be actively interacting with a task won’t work here. It’s things like video calls, putting together a presentation, compiling an excel spreadsheet, replying to emails, talking on the phone, reviewing a document, etc.

Basically, anything that requires your active participation and/or involvement isn’t the best type of work to multitask with.

About the only thing that works well for this is audio-only conference calls. And more specifically, it’s the calls where you’re not leading the conversation but just a supporting member or just part of a large audience.

These kinds of calls don’t require you to be at your desk or your active participation. It’s all of those FYI update calls, company-wide announcements, cross-functional project status reports, etc.

You know exactly what we’re talking about here. It’s the calls where it’s like listening to a newscast on the radio or TV in the background.

And in many of these boring conference calls, you usually end up doing other things anyway like doing emails, cyberloafing, messaging coworkers or friends, working on the presentation, etc.

In fact, we’re big proponents of doing walking conference calls as a way to get off your ass during the day and get your body moving and healthy.

In these audio-only conference calls, where you’re not expected to say or do much, you can easily do “background tasking” which is really the only kind of multitasking that is efficient.

Background tasking is when you’re doing two things that don’t overlap or share skills. It’s like listening to music while driving. And, the same concept applies here with listening in on conference calls while doing some chores.

The Best Chores To Do During WFH Days

Just like how there’s an ideal type of office task that is well suited to background tasking, there are also certain types of household chores that work better than others.

Obviously, chores that require a lot of effort are not good candidates. These include things like deep-cleaning the tub and shower, cleaning out the gutters, washing the car, mopping the floors etc. These are heavy-duty chores that are also workouts.

The other category of chores that don’t mix well here are noisy tasks. It’s activities like vacuuming, mowing the lawn, scraping the grill, etc.

The chores that you want to focus on are the ones that are more along the lines of light cleaning and/or organizing that you can instantly stop and not have any background noise.

The last part is important because while you’re doing the chore, if you need to chime in on the discussion, you can do so without a noisy background.

Try out one of these chores on your next long boring call.

1) Doing The Laundry Or Ironing Clothes

Taking care of that mountain of laundry during your work from home day is a great way to get it out of the way and maximize your weekend time.

This is a perfect chore to do while working from home because it only requires momentary tasks to get things going. It’s loading the washer and dryer - that’s it.

Of course, there’s the folding and organizing portion afterward and maybe even ironing, but you can background task those too. Check out this article about doing laundry when your WFH. It goes into more detail with tips.

2) Tidying Up Rooms

If you’ve got kids, cleaning up and organizing is a never-ending task. But, it’s one that you need to stay on top off before shit really gets out of hand.

Even if you don’t have kids, the same pretty much still applies.

We all let things slide by and leave random things wherever in the house. This is when things get cluttered and this visual mess adds to your stress.

Take a few minutes during your conference call to declutter and organize one of your rooms, be it the living room, bedroom, foyer, dining room, family room, etc. Put shit back where it belongs.

3) Sweeping Floors

Mopping the floors can get a bit messy and tedious with the bucket and all. So, do the light version instead and do a dry sweep.

If you’ve got a Swiffer dry mop, those are perfect for quick mini sessions to wipe up all those dust bunnies, pet hair, crumbs etc.

Plus, it’s totally silent. You could probably even swiffer your floor while talking and people on the call wouldn’t even know.

4) Wiping Down Kitchen Countertops

The kitchen can be one real messy place. It takes a lot of time and effort to really do a thorough cleaning in the kitchen - that’s not what you should do though.

The aim here is to only do a simple disinfection wipe down of the countertops. Get out your spray cleaner and sponge. Then, spray and wipe away! 

5) Disinfecting Bathroom Surfaces

Of all the cleaning chores, cleaning the bathroom is one of the worst and toughest chores to tackle. But, in this case, just like the kitchen, this isn’t a deep-clean effort.

Focus only on light cleaning. Just spray and wipe down the surfaces like the vanity, sink, mirrors, faucet hardware, etc. Leave the heavy cleaning for some other time or have Alice The Housekeeper take care of it.

6) Cleaning The Windows

This is another simple spray-n-wipe chore that you can do easily while listening to people yapping about problems on the conference call.

Plus, having clean and clear windows helps to brighten your view outside. Having a nice view is actually really important to help minimize the negative effects of digital eye strain.

7) Throwing Out Old Food

Hey, that jar of spaghetti sauce that’s been sitting in the back of your fridge for months? Ya’ know, the one that’s growing mold like an afro?

It’s time to throw that shit out - along with anything else that’s got an expiration date from last year.

Check the inventory of your fridge, especially those little hidden spots in the door pockets, behind the milk jug, lower drawers etc. If it’s moldy or smells funky, toss it.

8) Taking The Trash Out

While you’re cleaning out the fridge of all that nasty stuff, be sure to take the trash out of the house too. Don’t let that rotten pile of food stink up your place.

In fact, as you’re passively listening in on the call, do a walk-around inspection of all the mini trash cans in your place and empty them into a big trash bag and then dump it into the garbage container.

9) Organizing Your Workspace

Take a look around your desk right now. Seriously. It’s not exactly spic-n-span, is it?

There’s maybe an old coffee cup from this morning, a used tissue or napkin, random loose notes, miscellaneous charging cables, multiple pens and/or pencils, etc. It’s a scattered mess of things.

Take a few minutes to get all this shit organized. It’s just like decluttering your cubicle. It’ll make you feel much better when you’re done.

10) Cleaning The Dishes

Dirty dishes are such an endless chore that sometimes it seems like it’d be so much better to go back to the college days and use nothing but paper plates and plastic utensils.

But, we’re all adulting now and that means using real plates and silverware.

So, get this annoying chore out of the way during the call and then, you won’t have to deal with it later in the evening.

If you’ve got a dishwasher, even better. Load it up, hit start and walk away.

Tips For Doing Chores While Working

There are a few things that you should keep in mind when you’re doing chores during conference calls. These tips will help you stay on top of your game and minimize the chances that you’ll get called out on doing random chores while working.

1) Pre-Charge Bluetooth Earphones

If you know that you’ve got a group conference call coming up, be sure to charge up your Bluetooth headset or earphones.

Even just a 10-15 minute charging session is a good way to prevent any chance of dropping off the call due to low battery.

2) Top Up Phone Battery

Why is it that most phones can’t last a full day of normal use? And when you’ve got multiple back-to-back calls, the phone’s battery just gets slaughtered.

So, if your phone’s battery level is dipping below 50%, get it plugged in and charging before the next call. You don’t want to have to stop your cleaning chore due to low battery status.

3) Master The Mute Button

You’d think by now that most people would know how to use the fucking mute button. But no, there’s always that one jackass that forgets to mute their line and everyone has to suffer through a bunch of background noise.

Don’t be that guy.

Mute yourself while you’re doing your chores because nobody wants to hear you banging the dishes in the sink.

4) Wear Cool Comfy Clothes

The great thing about doing chores while working is that you’re moving your body and not sitting in the chair like a blob.

Some chores require a bit more effort than others. This is a good thing because you’re working your body.

So, wear cool and comfy clothes while doing your thing.

5) Have Notepad Ready At Your Desk

Every once in a while, there’s something important that you need to capture on the call. This could be a key piece of information, an important date, an action item, etc.

So, keep a notepad ready at your desk. This is when speedwriting pays off. This will allow you to quickly write down the info for later reference.

Don’t rely on your memory. You’ll forget.

Write that shit down.

Clearing Out Chores While Working Means More Free Time

Life can be busy as hell. There’s always something or someone that needs your attention. And so, the first thing that gets sacrificed is your personal free time.

However, you do have some control over how some of these external factors use up your valuable time, namely the routine chores around the house.

If you’re smart about it, you can get a lot of annoying house chores off your to-do list by taking care of them while listening to conference calls. And the more chores you clear off your plate, the more free time you’ll have for yourself.

This is one of the best ways to make your weekends feel longer.

So, during your non-critical conference calls, get your body moving and knock out a chore or two while listening in on the conversations.

The “weekend you” will be happy that you did.

Feel Better,

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