If there are three things in the world that I hate doing, they are: laundry, exercising, and grading papers. Unfortunately for me, however, these things are pretty crucial parts of my every day life and – with the exception of exercise, which I put off way more often that I should – pretty near impossible to avoid altogether.
At my core, I am a multitasker. If you ask Jeff, it can be pretty darn annoying sometimes, but I’m always listening to one conversation, participating in another, writing a blog post, and curling my hair. (Or something like that. I, actually, rarely curl my hair.)
This summer, I’ve tried to use my multitasking abilities to my advantage and make some of my most dreaded tasks a little bit more enjoyable. And, I’ve got to tell you, so far… It’s working!
I’ve been staying (mostly) on top of laundry, exercising (pretty) regularly, and grading papers like a (semi) champ… All while staying caught up on my favorite Netflix shows, reading great books, and being an expert internet surfer…
I watch Netflix series (Pretty Little Liars is my go-to show because I will never run out of episodes) while I fold and put away laundry.
I read books on my Kindle while I walk on the treadmill.
And, I reward myself for every set of papers graded with 5 (or 10) minutes of guiltless Facebook scrolling, blog reading, etc.
The key here, however, is that I pretty much ONLY allow myself to do those “fun” things, when I’m doing the other “not fun” things*. It’s like a compromise I make with myself, and – believe it or not – it really does make a difference. I find myself anxious to put Sam down for a nap so that I can hurry and get to my laundry or willing to get up early for a walk on the treadmill so that I can read the next few chapters of my book.
Have any of you tried this? What fun and un-fun tasks do you pair together to motivate yourself? What works for you?
*This is all a bit theoretical of course. I still have days where I’m a total lazy butt and read, blog, and watch TV with very little other productivity. BUT, that’s the exception rather than the rule these days. 🙂
Nikki Miller says
I think it is in our teacher DNA to be multitaskers. I like to tidy the house and out away clothes while listening to books on tape.
Sarah Koves says
I do something similar….one not fun task is equal to a reward of something fun. I grade a stack and watch one episode (my mind can’t do both). I also love my phone timer….30 minutes cleaning bedrooms and I get 30 minutes online…it helps keep me honest. Glad I’m not the only one who hates laundry.
Kovescence of the Mind
Nicole H says
I only watch Pretty Little Liars when I work out it is like a treat. It actually makes me want to work out because I can’t wait to see what happens next. It is also suspenseful enough to help the time fly by! I am so NOT ashamed to admit I love a teenagers show! The laundry is a total other issue though, maybe I need to find a show to watch while doing that, lol.
I read while I work out. The other day my Kindle showed I was 88% done with Girls in White Dresses when I started my workout. I figured I would get through most of my workout before finishing it, but it was one of those books that is really over at the 92% mark, or something like that. I spent 20 minutes walking on the treadmill with nothing to look at but ESPN on the TV in front of me. Lesson Learned: Always have a back up book downloaded.
I do the same thing – only I don’t limit my fun things to just when I’m doing my not-fun things. I think maybe I should try that to motivate me to NOT let the laundry build up to unmanageable levels . . .
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