Photo credit: xololounge from morguefile.com
Are you a list maker? (I'm talking specifically about lists for housework but this could apply to anything really.) I have friends who make detailed lists every day of the tasks they have to do and others who start to make lists, get distracted and then forget about them. I suppose I have a love/hate relationship with them. On the one hand, they're helpful because they can keep me on track and focused on what I'm supposed to be doing. On the other hand, they're a glaring reminder of all the things I have yet to accomplish! I have a bad habit of trying to take on too much at once housework-wise and usually end up jumping around from thing to thing on the list. I've found that starting a few tasks in the morning (like loading & starting the dishwasher and washer/dryer) and then moving on to a specific room (and working only in that specific room for a certain period of time) seems to make things run a bit easier.
I've found that making lists doesn't always work with kids - especially babies. They have their own schedules and don't really care about how much housework you have left to do. As kids get older, they can get more involved with chores and that's helpful. Assuming you can get them to help you, that is. Usually they start out doing them not the best way - sweeping haphazardly, stacking things you didn't want stacked, etc. - but they're trying and that's all that matters. I've also noticed quite a difference between boys and girls. Zeke has to be in the mood to clean whereas Ellie will pretty much clean anytime you ask her to. Zeke likes to have things clean but living in squalor doesn't seem to bother him too much either! Ellie likes for things to be "just so."
I've looked into programs like Fly Lady and Organized Moms that are supposed to help you by providing lists with tasks for you to accomplish on certain days. I joined an online Fly Ladies group at one point in time but was put off by all the emails and documents I received. It was way too overwhelming for me but I know other people that have had a lot of luck with it.