How to Get Through the Stuff You Don’t Want to Do

We all have things we need to do but don’t want to do. Like taxes, right? No one enjoys taxes. Or how about attending your nephew’s trombone recital? That’s probably not your idea of a fun Saturday night.

So how do you get through some of life’s obligations without losing your mind? Great question. I recommend procrastination, avoidance and pretending they don’t exist until hopefully they all just go away.

Just kidding.

Seriously, we can’t get out of everything—some things are just a part of life. And since we’re going to have to do them anyway, why not make them easier and more fun in the process?

Here are three practical ways to do just that:

1.  Find a way to make it fun.

Have piles of paperwork you’ve been avoiding? Order a pizza and grab a beer if that’s your thing. Or put on some awesome music or an old favorite movie in the background. Then dig in.

Or take your pile of papers (and a couple of paperweights) and sit outside in the sunshine on your patio while you sort through it. Simply changing the situation in which you do the terrible task can make it way less terrible.

2.  Find the meaning in it.

Maybe your nephew’s trombone recital doesn’t mean anything to you, but I bet it means something to him. When he nervously looks out into the crowd and sees your face, he feels supported.

I bet you showing up makes a world of difference to him. When you focus on the meaning in the situation, it can make a dreaded event much more satisfying.

3.  Find the benefit.

Maybe the benefit is obvious, such as: “I must do my taxes so I don’t go to jail.” I think we can all agree that’s a good thing. You can find the benefit in almost any situation. (Also, taxes can become far less frustrating with the help of a CPA you can trust. This is a must for you side-business owners!)

Hate going to the grocery store? I do. But the benefit of having food in my fridge when I’m hungry outweighs the hassle of driving to the store. When you focus on the benefits, your hard work feels more rewarding.

Life will have some energy-draining activities. That’s not going to change. What can change, however, is how you get through these activities.

So find a way to make them fun, meaningful and beneficial. And who knows? They may even go from things you have to do, to things you get to do!