November 10, 2016

How to Get Through the Stuff You Don’t Want to Do

We all have things we need to do but don’t want to do. Like taxes, right? No one enjoys taxes. Or how about attending your nephew’s trombone recital? That’s probably not your idea of a fun Saturday night. So how...

How to Get Through the Stuff You Don't Want to Do

We all have things we need to do but don’t want to do. Like taxes, right? No one enjoys taxes. Or how about attending your nephew’s trombone recital? That’s probably not your idea of a fun Saturday night.

So how do you get through some of life’s obligations without losing your mind? Great question. I recommend procrastination, avoidance and pretending they don’t exist until hopefully they all just go away.

Just kidding.

Seriously, we can’t get out of everything—some things are just a part of life. And since we’re going to have to do them anyway, why not make them easier and more fun in the process?

Here are three practical ways to do just that:

1.  Find a way to make it fun.

Have piles of paperwork you’ve been avoiding? Order a pizza and grab a beer if that’s your thing. Or put on some awesome music or an old favorite movie in the background. Then dig in.

Or take your pile of papers (and a couple of paperweights) and sit outside in the sunshine on your patio while you sort through it. Simply changing the situation in which you do the terrible task can make it way less terrible.

2.  Find the meaning in it.

Maybe your nephew’s trombone recital doesn’t mean anything to you, but I bet it means something to him. When he nervously looks out into the crowd and sees your face, he feels supported.

I bet you showing up makes a world of difference to him. When you focus on the meaning in the situation, it can make a dreaded event much more satisfying.

3.  Find the benefit.

Maybe the benefit is obvious, such as: “I must do my taxes so I don’t go to jail.” I think we can all agree that’s a good thing. You can find the benefit in almost any situation. (Also, taxes can become far less frustrating with the help of a CPA you can trust. This is a must for you side-business owners!)

Hate going to the grocery store? I do. But the benefit of having food in my fridge when I’m hungry outweighs the hassle of driving to the store. When you focus on the benefits, your hard work feels more rewarding.

Life will have some energy-draining activities. That’s not going to change. What can change, however, is how you get through these activities.

So find a way to make them fun, meaningful and beneficial. And who knows? They may even go from things you have to do, to things you get to do!

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  • Dottie says:

    “Find the meaning . . . ” Thank you for saying this. I needed to read this to understand again, there really IS meaning in an event, even if it isn’t what you would like to be doing. Thank you, again.

  • Mary says:

    Sage advice…it can be easy to talk oneself out of doing something when it’s for self. Thank you for the perfect timing of this article…when I’m not the focus, the meaning becomes evidentially clear. No excuses 😉

  • Lauren says:

    This is very timely for me as yesterday I completed some “stuff I didn’t want to do” – invoices. I got through it by rewarding myself when I completed it! I would have thought that getting paid was a motivator but as it turns out writing some posts and getting back into social media kept me focused until the end!

  • Sabrina says:

    Awesome article and good timing. I often feel overwhelmed which causes me not to like tasks even more. I shall remember the deeper reasons for doing annoying tasks from now on.

  • Susan says:

    It’s like you wrote this article just for me! I have a white board with a list of tasks sitting on my counter that I just seem to avoid. Hoping these ideas will help!

  • Emma says:

    Thank you for this very timely reminder! I have a list of this I’d like to have done and off my mind before the holidays and I’m having trouble with the motivation!

  • Sherry says:

    Share the task – My Mom hates grocery shopping. She can’t breathe or move like she used to & standing for any length of time causes back pain. It’s not just walking the super size grocery store that is available in our area, it’s also carting all of the groceries inside & putting them away. She’s exhausted before she is done. So we set aside a few hours on Sunday and we go together. She can take her time, we get time together and I cart the groceries in. It’s a win for both of us.

  • Shaun says:

    Same here,this article explains it to a tee.I have been putting off certain paperwork for months.Today is the day I have started.Keep fingers crossed for me people.Likewise 🙂 Thanks so much for this truly is the meaning 🙂