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Tasks taking a lot longer because of attention to detail

Sab

Well-Known Member
Hi humans!

I am curious if some of you experience this also, especially when it comes to work. I've been a housecleaner for a few years and this comes up quite a bit. I've had contracts where people expect me to clean an apartment within 2 hours, but it takes me 3+ hours, without a break, to finish.

My partner's also a housecleaner so I guess it makes it even more obvious. Sometimes I tell her that I clean this or that when I work, and she's like "Oh, I've never cleaned that".

The way my brain works, it's like really hard to not notice a thing that could be cleaned and not clean it. And that sometimes mean cleaning the same thing several times until it's "perfect". Which often makes me work extra hard and adds stress when I have limited amount of time.

It also makes me feel bad to get paid hourly when I know other people can do a pretty good job in less hours. I've also worked extra time or said I worked less time than I did by fear that clients would get angry or would think I was taking my time or lying about the time it took me.

I'd like to work on that, but it feels so uncomfortable to imagine leaving a place knowing that there were all these things I noticed that I didn't do. :p Would you attribute this to my autism and attention to detail? Or do I need to work on my perfectionism? :p And being okay with "good enough" sometimes.

Thank you in advance for any replies and I hope you are enjoying your day <3
 

Forest Cat

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Oh yes, I know that problem well. I used to always get so stuck on details. Vacuuming, cleaning floors, washing a car, all of it. When I painted a house, I would focus on one part of one plank on the wall and try to get that perfect, then move on to another part and so on. And that just doesn't work, it takes too much time. I have learned to look at the big picture, to see the wall as one big thing, not 500 small ones. That helped alot but it took time to get used to. It just feels so right to do it my way.

When you get paid by the hour, people will not be happy if you spend 5 hours on a 2 hour job. And it doesn't have to be perfect all the time, it just has to be good enough. It just takes practice I think, to change these habbits.
 

Owliet

The Owl Lady
V.I.P Member
Would you attribute this to my autism and attention to detail? Or do I need to work on my perfectionism? :p And being okay with "good enough" sometimes.
A lot of people with ASD are great with attention to detail,Sometimes to our own detriment. I Did a lot of attention to detail thing rather than look at a whole picture, I remember I even made laurel crowns because I was teaching the kids about the ancient Greek olympian games. :D
 

Sab

Well-Known Member
Oh yes, I know that problem well. I used to always get so stuck on details. Vacuuming, cleaning floors, washing a car, all of it. When I painted a house, I would focus on one part of one plank on the wall and try to get that perfect, then move on to another part and so on. And that just doesn't work, it takes too much time. I have learned to look at the big picture, to see the wall as one big thing, not 500 small ones. That helped alot but it took time to get used to. It just feels so right to do it my way.

When you get paid by the hour, people will not be happy if you spend 5 hours on a 2 hour job. And it doesn't have to be perfect all the time, it just has to be good enough. It just takes practice I think, to change these habbits.
Thank you for sharing. Yes that's exactly it. I see the 500 small things to do instead of the overall picture. My partner told me the other day to try to work to the client's satisfaction instead of my own. I want to practice getting more comfortable with good enough, and working to get the job done more than to my brain's own satisfaction, also because of the stress that it creates for me (and because sometimes I should stop to put food in my body instead of cleaning a thing for the third time :p).
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Yes. And it's a curse at times. Where you can so easily second-guess yourself in a time-sensitive situation. Ugh....
 

Sab

Well-Known Member
A lot of people with ASD are great with attention to detail,Sometimes to our own detriment. I Did a lot of attention to detail thing rather than look at a whole picture, I remember I even made laurel crowns because I was teaching the kids about the ancient Greek olympian games. :D
It feels so good though to be really immersed into something to the point of noticing everything that can be done for a particular project. :p
 

Owliet

The Owl Lady
V.I.P Member
It feels so good though to be really immersed into something to the point of noticing everything that can be done for a particular project. :p
((The laurel crowns were for me, I just had to give them out To make it less Of a perfectionist)).

:D very true. I’m still trying to work this all out Myself. I have the “do things right or not at all “ mantra in my head and will constantly try to improve on something until it’s “perfect”.


ive gotten a little better at it in some areas but still....
 

Orange Glasses

Well-Known Member
@Sab -

It’s an individual like yourself that we would hire specifically because of your attention to detail. When I lived just north of Boston, we had the most incredible house cleaners that were from Brazil. They were known to do an absolutely amazing job cleaning houses and there was a long waiting list for them.

When we sold our home, the first thing I told the new owners to do was to contact the owner of the service immediately and tell him that you want them to continue. They delayed ten (10) days and it was too late. They were the best of the best and I miss them dearly.

If you take longer cleaning, I would definitely charge the owners extra. You deserve that for being a professional.
 

Progster

Gone sideways to the sun
V.I.P Member
Yes, and I've stopped taking on translations for this reason. I also over think it too much and it ends up taking three times longer than it really should.
 

Sab

Well-Known Member
((The laurel crowns were for me, I just had to give them out To make it less Of a perfectionist)).

:D very true. I’m still trying to work this all out Myself. I have the “do things right or not at all “ mantra in my head and will constantly try to improve on something until it’s “perfect”.


ive gotten a little better at it in some areas but still....
Yeah I can relate to that a lot. It's like it's not worth doing it if I can't do it to my standards. But I guess it's kind of unrealistic expectations to have sometimes, considering we are not robots :p
 

alex0103

Active Member
Hi humans!

I am curious if some of you experience this also, especially when it comes to work. I've been a housecleaner for a few years and this comes up quite a bit. I've had contracts where people expect me to clean an apartment within 2 hours, but it takes me 3+ hours, without a break, to finish.

My partner's also a housecleaner so I guess it makes it even more obvious. Sometimes I tell her that I clean this or that when I work, and she's like "Oh, I've never cleaned that".

The way my brain works, it's like really hard to not notice a thing that could be cleaned and not clean it. And that sometimes mean cleaning the same thing several times until it's "perfect". Which often makes me work extra hard and adds stress when I have limited amount of time.

It also makes me feel bad to get paid hourly when I know other people can do a pretty good job in less hours. I've also worked extra time or said I worked less time than I did by fear that clients would get angry or would think I was taking my time or lying about the time it took me.

I'd like to work on that, but it feels so uncomfortable to imagine leaving a place knowing that there were all these things I noticed that I didn't do. :p Would you attribute this to my autism and attention to detail? Or do I need to work on my perfectionism? :p And being okay with "good enough" sometimes.

Thank you in advance for any replies and I hope you are enjoying your day <3
Everything takes me longer because

a) I have to think about what I am doing

b) I am often clumsy and don't have good general eye/hand coordination

c) I can often be in my own thoughts rather than concentrating on the job.

d) I can get focused in on the little details and be slower than others because of that fact.
 

Yeshuasdaughter

You know, that one lady we met that one time.
V.I.P Member
My daughter is also very cautious, and pays attention to every small detail in her tasks. This sometimes makes a small, 20 minute chore take 8 or more hours to complete.

When it's just a small chore that doesn't have to be overdone, I tell her "Come on girl, punk rock it! It doesn't have to be perfect! Just good enough!"

If tomorrow isn't a big fancy dinner/family reunion, and your apartment manager won't be inspecting your place, it's not the biggest deal as long as it's clean and livable.

Here is a song that I play for her sometimes, when she's overthinking a job, and tiring herself out. It is very funny:


 

Sab

Well-Known Member
@Sab -

It’s an individual like yourself that we would hire specifically because of your attention to detail. When I lived just north of Boston, we had the most incredible house cleaners that were from Brazil. They were known to do an absolutely amazing job cleaning houses and there was a long waiting list for them.

When we sold our home, the first thing I told the new owners to do was to contact the owner of the service immediately and tell him that you want them to continue. They delayed ten (10) days and it was too late. They were the best of the best and I miss them dearly.

If you take longer cleaning, I would definitely charge the owners extra. You deserve that for being a professional.
Thank you for your message, Orange Glasses. Yes, I also think that I should get paid for the time I work. And I notice feeling resentful when I don't and like my work is not valued. Sometimes, however, clients can't afford or don't expect to pay that much for a cleaning service. That's when it gets a bit complicated. :/ I guess that what I'm finding challenging is adapting to the different standards and priorities people have.
 

Sab

Well-Known Member
My daughter is also very cautious, and pays attention to every small detail in her tasks. This sometimes makes a small, 20 minute chore take 8 or more hours to complete.

When it's just a small chore that doesn't have to be overdone, I tell her "Come on girl, punk rock it! It doesn't have to be perfect! Just good enough!"

If tomorrow isn't a big fancy dinner/family reunion, and your apartment manager won't be inspecting your place, it's not the biggest deal as long as it's clean and livable.

Here is a song that I play for her sometimes, when she's overthinking a job, and tiring herself out. It is very funny:


Oh wow, I love this! I should just have that playing in the background during my shifts as a reminder :p
 

Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
As with any job, there are times when it is appropriate to take the time, be very detail oriented,...and set the bar for high quality, workmanship, and perfectionism. Some businesses schedule their work load appropriately and expect their employees to do exemplary work,...to set themselves apart from their competitors. Then, there are times when you are under a very tight schedule, trying to be three places at once, and you just need to get things done as quickly as you can,...knowing the end result may be "substandard" to what you would like it to be.

It's a hard call sometimes if you are unclear of the circumstances you are in. You can also make your co-workers, employers, and even customers unhappy if they are expecting you to "get in and get out" as quickly as possible.
 

Knower of nothing

Well-Known Member
I'd probably be both very impressed and satisfied with a cleaner like yourself haha. I have a hard time communicating to the househelp what needs to be done, so if someone is just capable of honing in on all of it, even if it takes more time, that's easily worth it.
 

Qoyote

Well-Known Member
Everyone thought I was lazy when I was little and now I'm very detail-oriented so no one can say I didn't do enough. I have trouble letting myself be done with anything so I get in trouble when I need to be fast.

Do you have anything like that maybe or not?
 

VictorR

Random Member
V.I.P Member
Ultra-perfectionism is indeed one of those little signs of being on the spectrum.

As others have noted, it comes down to what your expectations are.

If you're delivering to a higher standard - does your employer potentially have that category of service that you could work within?

Otherwise, consider taking little steps in getting the big picture done and not so much on the little details (even though our minds often focus on the details) as you want to make sure you don't get burned out - and burnout from trying to do too much, or worrying about colleagues not meeting your standards is something that I see from autistic folks a lot, so please take care of yourself as well!
 

Silhouette Mirage

S̷͕̲̔Ḷ̸̽̌İ̶̞M̸̲͆Ë̶̗̠
V.I.P Member
I do that at times, but usually I'll also neglect something so glaringly obvious that I'm stunned at my own 'stupidity' (even though it's obviously some kind of deficit / not on purpose) when somebody points it out.

It's kind of like, "Thanks, the sink is spotless! But you didn't even do the... floors?"
 
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George Newman

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I wonder if it would make sense to make a list of what realistically needs cleaned in each room with its estimated time to clean?

By doing so you could show a client where you spent your two hours and if you exceeded that two hours and require additional compensation you could share the itemization of what that extra work included.

Having a written reference that you and your clients could refer to might help zero in on what is expected to be done in two hours and make any necessary additional enumeration an easier discussion.

I applaud your commitment to exceptionalism.

Bravo! Great post!
 
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