How to execute seemingly hard things with ease
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a step, how easy is the first step?
I despise doing house chores. I’d rather spend my time doing something else than doing house chores. I used to defend my laziness by stating that doing chores was a waste of time since I could be doing something more valuable with the same amount of time. However, essential tasks don’t have to be productive but can create an environment that promotes productivity. Even if essentialism isn’t directly advantageous to productivity, it may have an effect on total output. Time spent cleaning up your workspace, for example, does not increase productivity, but the impact of a clean and uncluttered workplace fosters a clear mind.
For a long time, I’ve been able to postpone doing chores. Even though I’ve had the wonderful fortune to have others do it for me, the consequence of my laziness with housework wasn’t obvious until it got too much for my wife to handle. We’ve had several disagreements as a result of this, 90% of which are the result of my inability to assist with tasks. Given that my wife has a lot on her plate and she is the primary caregiver for our toddler, the least I could do was help her with the responsibilities when she is unable to.
Everything began to point in the direction of a choice. Doing what appears to be impossible (extremely difficult!) or disregarding it (easy), making my wife’s life easier or making her condition worse, and being helpful or being unreasonable. In order to alleviate some of the burdens of caring for my toddler, we began searching for help, but as we haven’t found a good match, someone needs to step up in the meantime. This must be done!
When I made the decision to step up, every aspect of my life came together to figure out how effective it could be done frequently. It was brought about by a kind of synergy between my ideas, feelings, and physical body. The first stage was to become motivated to accomplish the tasks (just looking at the clutter was demotivating enough for someone like me). I also wanted a sense of accomplishment or joy after completing them.
The sense of achievement that comes from finishing a task was crucial in getting started. What if I mix my chores with something I like doing to counteract the notion that they are a waste of time? Boom! The thought hit me. One of my favourite hobbies is reading, especially when it results in me learning something new. Using an audible (audio book app) will allow me to read while performing my duties, and when I’m finished, I’ll have made significant progress in the book, allowing me to obtain new knowledge. Chores provided a chance (and time) to read, and the sense of success (gaining new information) that came with reading became the reward.
I’ve been practicing this strategy for a few weeks now. Even though completing tasks feels like a chore, the intrinsic motivation and rewards make it worthwhile. I’ve been reading the books on my wish list on a regular basis.
Putting it All Together
The mind is powerful because it can do everything it sets out to accomplish.The first step on a thousand-mile journey begins in the mind.
Because we appreciate receiving acknowledgment, our brains function better when there is a reward system in place (especially the ones that seem immediate). There are certain activities that provide you pleasure again and again, so much so that you tend to disregard the work, time or even risk involved (if any) in order to get the instant enjoyment from performing them. We become addicted to gaming, movies, smoking etc because of the instant “feel-good experience” not minding the effort, time and effect on our health. Recognising these activities is key in order to successfully build resilience especially with less pleasant activities.
Therefore, the key to completing the seemingly tough tasks (which are necessary) is to link them to activities that you enjoy doing since you know you will be rewarded for your efforts.