I too love the timer ladypol. Like you, I don't like housework so knowing I'm only going to do it for 15 minutes at a time is great. I also use it when filling in my tax return. Also stops me being a perfectionist and spending too long on something. And I use it a lot for being disciplined about things like email time and general computer time.
And the children respond much better when I say "I'm going to set hte timer for 5 minutes and we're going to see how tidy we can get the playroom in that time" rather than "let's tidy the playroom"
The other great thing about a timer is I realised how little time it takes to do some things. For years i thought emptying hte dishwasher took ages, so I'd put it off (when you're a mum of babies and toddlers, finding 10 minutes is NOT that easy), but one day I timed myself and realised it took 2 minutes, or a maximum of 3. Now it just doesn't seem like so much of a chore.
Besides, the children do it sometimes