Would you like to get more enjoyment out of life?
This time of year is really busy for most, and it’s really easy to end up rushing around from task to task trying desperately to get everything done but feeling like you’re not quite keeping up. Sometimes our tasks are pretty well defined and we don’t have much choice about what we do, but we do have a choice around how much enjoyment we get out of these tasks.
Take cleaning for example, I recently had the task of cleaning out the bottom of the wardrobe in my bedroom, something that hadn’t been done for years, as evidenced by the pile of random stuff that had accumulated there. I really wanted to clean it out, and had opened the wardrobe with the intention of cleaning it out several times. Each time, I had decided I had no idea where to start, and ended up walking away with the wardrobe untouched.
Then I was asked a question, a simple question designed to help me increase my enjoyment while doing just about any task. “What are three ways you can up your enjoyment while cleaning out the wardrobe?” I was stumped at first. I’m supposed to enjoy cleaning out the wardrobe? Then I played the game and came up with three answers as requested. First, to turn some music on. Second, to ask my partner to pull it all out for me and dump it on the bed so I could bypass the overwhelm and be put in a position where I had to deal with it. And third, to do it on a warm day so that the whole house was a nice temperature and I could move around the house freely while doing it.
An interesting thing happened after that. I felt a whole lot motivated about the idea of cleaning out the wardrobe, and the next day it happened. The funny thing was that my partner was out so I had to reach in there and start pulling things out myself, and that the CDs were in the car with him so I couldn’t turn any music on. It was a nice day though, so one out of three isn’t bad. The important thing though was that in doing this exercise, my motivation had increased, so despite the fact that I only had one out of three, it didn’t matter. I felt good about the idea of doing it and so that’s exactly what I did.
I’ve been asking others to do this since then too and enjoy the benefits of thinking of things in a positive way and enjoying even the most mundane of tasks a whole lot more. “What are three ways you can up your enjoyment with cleaning the toilet?” “What are three ways you can up your enjoyment with exercise?”
Music has come up as an answer several times. Small but enjoyable rewards have been at the end of some tasks, and doing things at a particular time of day has also come up more than once. What’s surprised me though, is the wide range of answers that I’ve been given and how different people can come up with completely different answers. What’s been clear with everyone though, is that despite sometimes being a little stuck on answers at first, it’s been well worth pushing through and coming up with three distinct answers, and that doing so has upped motivation and enjoyment for all.