You've no doubt heard sayings like "Good things come to those who wait" and "Time heals all wounds." Well, don't underestimate the benefits of a little patience when it comes to cleaning dishware and cookware.
You're much less likely to need an abrasive, potentially damaging scrubber or powerful chemical detergent if you simply allow your dirty plates, bowls, pots and pans to soak in hot, sudsy water for 15 to 30 minutes before you attempt to clean them. A good soak will usually make even the toughest caked-on food particles wipe away easily.
As a matter of fact, some of the gunk will slide off by itself. So try slowing down a bit. Fill the sink with dishes, hot water and suds, and then spend some time with your family while nature does some of the work for you.