You may set the timer when cooking. You may set the timer to let the misbehaving child know when the timeout is over. But have you ever set the timer for yourself?
Sometimes cleaning can seem like an overwhelming task. Try setting an inexpensive kitchen timer for 5-10 minutes. Stay focused and do as much as you can before the timer rings. The "beat the clock" mentality forces me to move quickly without feeling overwhelmed. What I don't get to before the buzzer will be there later when round 2 starts!