The TikTok-viral method is backed by psychologists and it's perfect for anyone who gets easily overwhelmed by to-do lists.
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by all the tasks you have to do that you just end up doing none of them? Well, you're not alone in that, and it's common for this issue to come up when cleaning around the house. You go to vacuum the rug and you notice you have a pile of clothes you need to deal with. Or you go to put away the dishes and you remember you want to reorganize the pantry. The potential number of cleaning and organizing chores around the house can be seemingly infinite and it's easy to get off track. But, there's a hack for that—it's called Junebugging—and it's backed by psychologists.
Related: 17 Mini Moves to Help You Declutter
What Is Junebugging?
Junebugging is a technique that was first coined and introduced by a Tumblr user several years ago, and it's recently been circulating on TikTok. The name and the idea behind the productivity method is based on the behavior of junebugs, which exhibit "site fidelity," a tendency to return back to the same location, no matter how often they wander off elsewhere. So, when applying this to cleaning tasks, the idea is to choose a "location" (priority cleaning task), which you will always come back to no matter how many times you get distracted by other tasks.
Nikki Pebbles, MS, a productivity researcher and business psychologist, explained in a TikTok that she uses the Junebugging method herself and with her clients. In the video, she says it's important to be really specific about what area you're cleaning. For example, instead of choosing the bedroom, choose to focus on the bed, or instead or choosing the kitchen, focus on the kitchen sink, etc. "That is your anchor point and you're always gonna come back to that anchor point, because we're working with our brain," she explains. "We know that we're going to get distracted."
The Tumblr user behind the original post was someone with ADHD responding to another user with ADHD who posted about how difficult it can be to stay focused when cleaning. So, born out of that context, it's no surprise that psychologists use this tactic to specifically help people with ADHD stay focused on tasks, but the method could be helpful for anyone who struggles to stay on track when cleaning.
How to Do the Junebugging Cleaning Method
Choose Your Anchor Point
As mentioned above, it's important to get specific when choosing your anchor point that you'll always return back to. For example, this anchor point could be cleaning the kitchen counters, vacuuming a rug in the living room, or putting away the clutter that's accumulated on the entryway table. No task is too small.
Now that you have your anchor point to focus on, start cleaning it—and allow yourself to have some detours along the way. If your anchor point is the kitchen counters, you may find some dishes you have to clean first or some miscellaneous items that need to be returned to other rooms.
Be Patient With Yourself
Try not to get frustrated with yourself when you get off track. The beauty of this method is that it expects some distractions so you don't have to call the whole thing off when you take a wrong turn, as long as you get back on the right route at some point.
Remember to Return to Your Anchor
If you've found yourself veering too far off track, remember to go back to your anchor point task. Maybe you've ended up folding laundry in the other room or are taking a break eating a snack. That's okay, fold one more shirt or finish up that snack and then return to those kitchen counters to get back to work on your goal.
Repeat the Steps as Needed
Once you've completed the task that you chose as your anchor point, you can feel good about what you've accomplished and stop there if you're tired. However, if you still have some energy, you can start the method over with a new anchor point (perhaps one of those tasks that distracted you on your first round) and see how far you can get.
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