If you string together all the minutes you've spent thinking about and dreading chores, you could probably have completed them twice over. Then the guilt and worry would be behind you. Instead, you're at the mercy of that small voice in the back of your mind reminding you that the space under your water heater is filthy and probably ground zero for a new species of carpet-eating cockroach or attacking dust bunny.
A common stalling tactic is to promise yourself you'll do a really, really good cleaning job another day -- like the day after the kids leave home for college. The promised project eventually takes on such huge proportions that even a queen of clean would run the other way.
Begin by taking 15 minutes today to make tomorrow's chores a little easier. Pick up that pile of accumulated items in the corner, like the books, discarded winter jackets, toys and CDs. Ah, that's more like it. Tomorrow it'll be easier to vacuum because you've already cleared a spot. When you take cleaning in small, easy-to-do steps, it becomes less like a brutal long-distance marathon and more like a manageable inconvenience.