My biggest problem cleaning is that I get easily distracted. I’ll be half way through filling the dishwasher and find myself on the floor playing with the dogs. Or I’ll have hung out a few pieces of washing and find myself weeding the herb garden.
So I loved this article which explains that Zen monks practice Soji. For 20 minutes a day each monk is assigned to a specific cleaning task he does so without trying to finish the task. He cleans for the sake of cleaning, not for the sake of finishing, whether it be sweeping, washing the dishes or washing windows. When the 20 minutes are up, a bell is rung, and each monk stops whatever he has been working on, no matter where he is in the process, and goes on to the next part of his day. Cleaning, cooking and tasks such as these are completed with the same reverence as meditation itself, because immersing your whole self in a task is a form of mindfulness.
I find this really refreshing and it helps if I set myself a 20 minute window because I usually get my jobs finished rather than wandering off and I view them as just something to focus on rather than something to be done when I’d rather be playing with the dogs.