Be involved in everything you do or don't do it at all.
Recently I ran a little experiment. Some tasks are very tedious to do, some things are just so repetitive that you just want to get them over with. That's if you even end up doing that at all cos they're so boring.
So the other day I was cleaning my place, I had some dishes that needed taking care of, the floor had to be swept and mopped, some laundry. Ugh, it hurts to even think about it. Anyway, I had to do those things, and before I started I thought you know, if I just check out they might go by way faster.
So, I tried this tactic a few times. I just checked out and went through the motions. I didn't think they could get any more boring! Worst idea ever haha. What ended up happening was that I started physically getting tired almost right at the start. And finding the mental energy to keep going just kept getting harder and harder.
This affected the next times I had to do the same tasks. I started thinking things like "I can do this tomorrow" (of course, tomorrow I'd have probably said the same thing), "I should wait for my girlfriend to come back home and do it together" (this was an excuse to procrastinate and do less work) and "Can I just hire someone to do it for me?" (Bad idea).
Well, if I started having those thoughts so early on, there's no way I'm gonna be able to keep going like this. So, naturally, I found myself back at the start. How can I make these things less f***ing tedious??
I then remembered a post I read on some random website I found myself in about mothers taking care of children... don't ask... and I remembered reading about how one mother just got her kid to play a game while helping his mom clean up. Sort of like a treasure hunt with his toys. Well, I don't have toys, and also I know where everything is, I don't have to hunt for it. No problem, I'll play another game.
I played Pac-Man. Except without the ghosts - that I know of at least. I went around the house sweeping up dust and dirt into my bucket making sure not to leave anything behind so I could get the high score. Silly, I know. But the point isn't how the sheer boredom of cleaning made me go crazy. The point is that it wasn't boring anymore.
You see, I became involved in what I was doing. I found a way to make it interesting to me and before I knew it, I was on to the dishes. Then the laundry. Next thing I knew everything was done. I didn't time it but I think if I did my watch would have told me I went much faster than usual too. I might time it now actually. Anyway, it certainly felt faster.
By becoming involved in what I was doing and finding a way to put attention towards it, it actually became less draining, and more energy-efficient. I didn't feel like slumping on the bed and doing nothing for the next hour. I felt like I could do a lot more, in fact.
. . .
The moral of the story is that checking out and just going through the motions made everything 10 times worse for me. Instead, focusing on the task and figuring out a way to make it fun and/or interesting, however silly the method, made it 100 times better. It not only not made it draining, but gave me energy after to do more, I wanted to do more! Perhaps it's just me, so I'm curious, have you tried checking out, or turning it into a game? or maybe both? What works for you?
Hi, I'm Matthew, my mission is to spread knowledge about motivation, productivity, and enabling people to achieve the best that they can be! I have a vast background in psychology and a passion for self-improvement. I literally can't remember a time when I didn't have a psychology book in my hands. On top of that, I've traveled around the world from a very young age, and seen many different courses of life, forming friendships with highly successful people, as well as people who are willing to do anything to make ends meet. My own life took me down a roller coaster of highs and lows, and I'm forever grateful that I've been able to overcome everything it threw at me. Now I want to take the opportunity to give back, and help others learn tools and methods for becoming who they were born to be!