There are two really good ways to approach everything we need to do:
Enjoy it – or make it enjoyable.
I was thinking about this while recalling a Zen Habits article where Leo wrote, “Enjoy the process.” That’s something I often forget, but his advice is priceless. With those words in mind, I’d like to share these tips:
How to Enjoy Practically Anything
When I think about a task as a to-do item, I definitely don’t enjoy it. Things like laundry, vacuuming and scrubbing the toilet are hard to love. But I know from experience it’s possible to enjoy anything. It’s all in how you approach it. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy practically anything.
Think about what you are doing. Watch how your hands move, how the laundry feels and what sounds fill the room. Be mindful in what you are doing and you will truly enjoy it more.
Go slowly, but steadily. Often, I dislike tasks because I’m rushing through them. That never feels good. The truth is, every moment in life matters, and life is not a race. Do things at a slower pace and don’t worry about the next item on your list.
Everything we do could be worse. I don’t like doing laundry, but what a blessed life I have to be able to open a machine, add soap and press a button. I don’t have to bring my basket to a river poisoned by garbage. No matter how much there is to do, there is someone out there who is doing something much harder, and I can appreciate that it isn’t me.
How to Make Anything Enjoyable
This is a fun one. While I do believe it’s possible to enjoy practically anything, I don’t think we have to ignore how we feel.
If you really hate to do something, why not try to make it enjoyable? In essence, that’s the place I started when I wanted to quit my day job. I didn’t hate my job, but I felt it could be more enjoyable to work for myself. I longed for enough time to write AND manage my home. That was where I started. I asked a hard question: How can I make my job more enjoyable?
You should ask questions like that, too. Write a list of answers as you think of them.
For smaller tasks, like vacuuming or making dinner, you can try adding things you already enjoy to those activities. Here are a few ways I make mundane tasks more enjoyable:
- Listen to music or audiobooks (Recent intense read: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson)
- Fold laundry while watching a movie
- Ask for help and make the chore playful. Throw washcloths at each other and laugh.
- Designate clean up music for the whole family. We like Bob Marley.
- If you like goals, set a timer and see how much you can accomplish in that time.
I don’t live in a complete dreamworld. I know some things we have to do aren’t wonderful, but a little creativity can improve the experience. I truly believe each day in our lives is unique and worth enjoying to the fullest.
What are some ways you make chores more enjoyable?
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Photo by na_tascha