Sometimes you just have to get stuff done. And sometimes it’s not fun stuff. You don’t want to do it, but it needs to get done.
Whether it’s a major step on your path to achieving a goal or just some mundane task, you don’t always feel like doing it.
But to live your best life, achieve your goals and, frankly just survive in the world, you have to do a lot of things that you don’t feel like doing. Here are three simple ideas that will help you push through when you’re trying to do stuff you don’t want to do.
1. Remember why you’re doing it
Whatever you’re doing, it’s ultimately aligned with a larger thing that’s important to you. If you’re sitting at home waiting for the plumber to come and fix a leaky pipe instead of being at the pool, it’s because you want a safe and dry place for your family to live. If you’re working on a mundane task for your business, like a business plan or financial projections, even though it doesn’t seem fun, there’s a reason you are doing it. It’s necessary to run your business. It feeds some larger goal or value that’s important to you.
Keep that thing in mind. Remembering a bigger, more exciting reason why you’re doing something boring keeps you focused on something that’s easier to get excited about.
2. Try to make it fun
I said “try.” You’ll probably need to get creative here. A few days ago, someone I hired to clean an empty apartment didn’t show up. Because this filthy 900-square foot apartment had to be thoroughly cleaned by the next day, I decided to put all my plans on hold and do my least favorite activity — clean. For about eight hours. After I got over my initial fit of rage and frustration about having to spend the day doing something I didn’t want to do, I tried to figure out how to make it a little more pleasant. I had a long list of podcasts and YouTube videos I had been wanting to listen to, so I loaded them up and enjoyed eight hours of mentally stimulating content while I performed this mundane task. It ended up being a great day.
Figure out how to make this thing you’re doing more enjoyable. Can you do it with music, do it with a friend, do it naked, do it outside, do it in some unique way that might make it more fun or interesting. It’s not easy, but if you open your mind to creative possibilities about how you can make it happen, you’ll figure out something that will help you get through it.
3. Do it with focus
When you get really focused on what you are doing, it changes drastically. First, stop thinking about all the other things that are racing through your mind. You might be thinking about what you’d rather be doing, what you’re going to do after you get done or wondering if you’re doing it good enough. Quit thinking about that stuff and focus on what you are doing. You’ll get it done faster, better and you’ll be happier while you’re doing it.
Happiness exists inside you at all times and the fastest way to become happy is to feel the happiness that was there all the time. Don’t focus on how much you don’t want to be doing this thing you are doing, focus on doing the thing and being happy while you do it. Stop every 45 minutes or so, and just sit still and feel peace and happiness deep down inside you. It’s not easy to access this at first, but if you practice, you’ll master it and can access it any time you want.
It’s taken me 40 years to figure out how to maintain peace in a world that frequently doesn’t behave how you want it to. I don’t get it right all the time, but when I do, it’s because I’ve remembered these three things.
You can do it too. It might not work the first time, or even the fifth, but if you believe there’s something better than constant frustration and discontentment, and you incorporate tools like these into your daily practice, you’ll see big improvements — eventually.
Yep, eventually. You won’t see results right away. But with practice you will see them.
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