Every one of us has those tedious tasks in our daily lives that aren’t exactly enjoyable, but must still be done. Every. Single. Day. Common tedious tasks we dread include washing dishes (again), finding paper to load the printer (again), and packing screaming toddlers or preschoolers and all the related accouterments into the minivan to try to get there on time (again).
We all have tasks like that; things we just need to do every day. These tasks generally aren’t joy-filled. Maybe we even dread those tasks so much that we put them off until they hang clouds over our lives.
But things don’t have to be like that!
It’s possible to find satisfaction and joy even in the tasks we dread most. Yes, even in scrubbing toilets. Here are a few things that helped me find joy in tedious tasks. I’m sharing them in the hope that you find these tips helpful to make the tasks you dread at least a little more enjoyable.
- Roll tedious tasks into enjoyable things.
If your dreaded task doesn’t require a lot of mental focus combine it with another thing you enjoy doing. Listen to a podcast or your favorite music while you work. Burn a candle or diffuse essential oil in the room. Call a friend and chat while you work at the task. Find any way to make the task more enjoyable. You might find yourself actually looking forward to it next time it needs to be done!
- Turn the task into a personal challenge or a game.
If you truly loathe the task, try turning it into a game by seeing how quickly you can finish it. Cleaning the bathroom is my least favorite task, so when I really don’t want to do it, I set a timer and see how fast I can finish doing it. Being a naturally competitive person will work in your favor for this tip! It will be fun for you to see if you can improve on your time, or set it up as a challenge with your spouse or a group of friends. This can certainly make the task get completed more quickly!
- Change your frame of mind.
Try changing the way you think about the task at hand. View it as something you choose to do to rather than as something you must do. This will help you achieve a more positive state of mind regarding doing the task.
- Find someone to join you.
Doing something we don’t like to do can be more fun if we’re in good company. One task I dislike is shopping for groceries. Funnily enough, though, my two toddlers love going to the grocery store. Surprisingly, bringing them along with me actually makes the chore more fun for me. It’s fun to see them get so excited to go there and be there. So instead of shopping by myself, at night when they’re asleep, I try to make it a fun family outing on a weekend morning. My husband and I and the kids all go together. It’s turned the chore of shopping for groceries from something I dread into something I truly find joy in simply because I get to do it with my favorite people in the world!
- Reward yourself.
Maybe you face a mountain of dirty dishes and a messy kitchen after dinner every night. Make that task sweeter by savoring a piece of candy afterwards. Or lounge on the couch in peace and relax for a while after the clean-up is finished. Having a reward to anticipate will help motivate you to power through those tasks even when you’re not really in the mood to!
- Take satisfaction in a job well done.
When you’ve finally completed your dreaded task, be sure you savor the fact that you finished it! It feels great to knock tedious chores off of your to-do list, especially if it’s one you dreaded. Giving yourself a pat on the back helps you feel accomplished, and make it less likely you’ll dread the task next time it needs to be done.
What tedious tasks do you dread doing? What rewards help motivate you to finish? Tell us all about them in the comments section!