how can I distract myself while organizing my clutter?
June 20, 2015 5:30 PM   Subscribe

How can I distract myself so I do not become too bored?

I can't watch tv because that would take away too much focus. I was thinking of listening to an audiobook. I would like something that I could absorb myself in for at least a day that will still allow me to complete my task.
posted by skwint to Grab Bag (21 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I always find good music, preferably something upbeat that you know well and can sing along with, helps a lot. Works for things like dusting or washing windows too. Or podcasts.
posted by Athanassiel at 5:38 PM on June 20, 2015

I actually find TV to be better for this than podcasts, it just has to be TV you don't care too much about. Podcasts tend to be pretty information dense and if you zone out for a couple minutes you've missed something important. USA buddy comedies or bad reality TV or whatever else you find mildly interesting but not compelling, usually works better.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 5:44 PM on June 20, 2015 [3 favorites]

We like the Harry Potter audiobooks a lot, or podcasts like This American Life (which I listen to every night while cleaning the kitchen).
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:21 PM on June 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

No Such Thing as a Fish is a great podcast for this as it's the researchers for the QI quiz show talking about facts and they don't spend much time on any one fact.
posted by carolr at 6:29 PM on June 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

What about comedy albums? That might be light enough to not have to listen to very intently, but still would be nice background noise.
posted by xingcat at 6:29 PM on June 20, 2015

Podcasts or junk TV.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:30 PM on June 20, 2015

An audiobook of a book you have read before and really liked works well for this. You know you'll enjoy the content but if you don't pay attention here and there you won't get lost because you already know the story.
posted by foxfirefey at 6:34 PM on June 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

I agree about tv over podcasts or audiobooks. I would go for marathons of Law & Order personally.
posted by JenMarie at 7:14 PM on June 20, 2015

I found the iProcrastinate podcast incredibly helpful in keeping me on task as I was doing necessary but tedious household tasks.
posted by bardophile at 7:51 PM on June 20, 2015

Invite a friend who is both organized and interesting company.
posted by Sir Rinse at 8:16 PM on June 20, 2015

Did you listen the podcast Serial? It's fantastic and addictive. Make a rule you can only listen to it while doing tedious chores, and those chores will become less tedious!
posted by bluedaisy at 8:52 PM on June 20, 2015

Yup I do audiobooks when I have big cleaning/organizing/moving projects. The most recent one I did while building eleventybillion bookcases was Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:55 PM on June 20, 2015

Audiobooks are my go-to for any task like this - cleaning, painting, decluttering...
posted by linettasky at 9:38 PM on June 20, 2015

I listen to Judge John Hodgman, personally. But, just to be obnoxious, here's Thich Nhat Hanh's take on distraction: Washing the Dishes to Wash the Dishes. Not that I'm ever capable of doing that for more than a couple minutes at a time.
posted by stray at 9:48 PM on June 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

N'thing "lightweight" audiobooks like Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes (or other classics).
The only problem for me is finding one with tolerable reading, but hopefully you're not as persnickety as I am. I find anything visual or with substantial production (ala podcasts) to be horribly distracting.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 4:34 AM on June 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

I often watch this Canadian reality show called 'Love it or list it' when I'm cleaning or decluttering (on US Netlix). Each episode is indentical to the previous one so I don't really need to pay attention to know where I am in the story and it's about home makeovers, which is very motivational when you're doing a kind of makeover too.
posted by Wantok at 4:37 AM on June 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

I like to watch Hoarders when I am cleaning. Totally inspired to clean while watching that show! :)
posted by momochan at 5:00 AM on June 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Listen to Adam Savage's podcast about Keeping Tidy. The rest of his podcast back catalog is great too.
posted by PSB at 6:19 AM on June 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

My wife and I like to turn on the TV and have something like Golden Girls running in the background while we're cleaning house. We've watched each episode so many times that we can practically quote the dialogue, so it's perfect for background noise while we clean.
posted by Telpethoron at 7:14 AM on June 21, 2015

Late Night Live is my go-to for keeping my mind active while my hands do whatever it is that they need to.
posted by flabdablet at 8:27 AM on June 21, 2015

Also possibly of interest.
posted by flabdablet at 8:31 AM on June 21, 2015

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