Monthly Archives: January 2014

How to have a blast doing dreaded tasks

Some tasks are not for you. You never feel like doing them. You find them dull and procrastinationtedious. You think they’re a waste of your time.

But for whatever reason, you can’t pawn them off on someone else and you can’t keep putting them off.

If you’re stuck with doing a dreaded task, here’s how you can make the most of your experience and even have a blast:

Just start. The longer you put it off and the more you resist it, the more daunting the task becomes. Don’t overthink it. Stop dilly dallying. Let go of perfection.

Get curious. Challenge yourself to find something intriguing about the task. Meditate on it. Be fully present. Activate all your senses while you’re tackling it. Remember what it’s like to be a child and approach the task as if you were experiencing it for the first time.

Set a time limit. Do the task in small, time-based chunks. Whether you have two minutes or two hours, stop when the time is up. Make it into a game. See how fast you can get it done without sacrificing its quality or your integrity.

Embrace the ugly. If you’re frustrated, open up to it. If you’re bored, revel in it. If you’re tired, take a nap and get back to it. Notice your weaknesses, dislikes, and bad habits. Self-knowledge is power.

Consider the big picture. The things you love often include bit parts that you hate. Making that telephone call could win over that fabulous client. Booking the flight means you get your dream vacation.

Layer it with something you enjoy. Call a friend while you’re running the copies. Listen to a podcast while you’re doing the dishes. Blast some jazz music while you’re decluttering your desk. (This is background tasking, not multitasking.)

Partner up. Gather your friends to help you clean out the garage. Turn cooking a meal into a family affair. Great company can turn normally dull experiences into surprisingly fun events.

Remember, it’s your choice. You could do nothing. You could do something else. But you chose to do this task. Claim full responsibility for it. Own it.

Lose the attitude. The task is what you make of it. Whistle while you work. Do a victory dance when you’re done.

Take it to the next level.  Learn by doing. What makes this task a drag? Is there a way to wipe it off your to-do list (permanently)? Create a new process, design a strategy, or invent a tool to bypass it the next time. Make use of shortcuts.

Reward yourself. Celebrate a task well done. Follow it up with a fun and fascinating to-do. Go out for ice cream. Get a mani-pedi. Watch the movie you’ve been dying to see.

Imagine how good you’ll feel when it’s done. Completing a necessary task is liberating and energizing. It’s a huge weight off your shoulders. Visualize the desired outcome and bring those good vibes into the process.

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Photo by: Jennerally