We all have things we don’t want to do no matter what. Some are simple yet time consuming jobs such as housework whilst others are far more complex. Having just sent off an assignment for my current course I now have a smile on my face… I say ‘now.’ Actually, I put it there this morning having decided to take a new approach, the age old approach that if you have to do something you may as well do it willingly.
That however is only part of the story. The fact is, we have choices. We can do or delay. When we ‘do,’ the task is soon out of the way and this frees our mind to focus on more pleasurable things. When we delay, the task becomes burdensome, growing in front of our eyes and increasing our resistance. We know that we cannot have true peace of mind whilst it still looms large because our subconscious mind is continually aware of it!
QUESTION: Given that we are resisting, what can we do to improve the situation?
ANSWER: Change our attitude towards the task.
This is not as hard as you might think; it’s a matter of practice. We often take on roles in life- so take on a role by pretending that you are THE person who loves this task! The mind is an awesome tool, it's powers very persuasive.
Look at the task and identify the positive aspects- take washing for example. Buy powders and conditioners that smell good and work well. Try taking a pride in it. Sort the washing out in preparation and pre-soak or remove stains. Select the right cycle rather than jabbing the buttons on the machine and switching it on! Try following the entire washing/drying process in this manner and you will be rewarded by having clothes that smell nice and remain in good condition. A simple example but the principles apply to every project whatever the scale.
Large tasks can be break them down into bite sized pieces. Where possible, it is good to deal with the things you least like first, again with thoroughness and a positive attitude. This leaves us with more time to do our favourite things. It will also improve performance overall and show dedication which increases your motivation. Hard tasks are challenges and we need to learn to love a challenge! You will also find that the more effort you put in the more rewarding a task becomes-the better we do things the better we feel about them which creates good vibrations and improves mental well-being.
Where possible, seek the help of others even if it is simply to provide encouragement. There are tasks that can be performed in groups or alongside others. Provided not to many distractions are created this can add to the enjoyment and help you do things more quickly.
Ultimately we have to do some things in life whether we want to or not, so why make it hard on yourself and spoil your days with things hanging over your head? Take it, deal with it and enjoy it. This is the Mary Poppins Principle and if you can add a spoonful or two of sugar everything becomes sweeeet!! After all, things are usually far better than we anticipate and the harder the task, the more rewarding it tends to be.