We’ve all experienced it. Dreading doing things you don’t want to do. Procrastinating, avoiding, complaining, you’ll do anything other than get them done.
The tasks themselves are different for different people. I’ll go to the ends of the earth to avoid doing dishes because ewwww. My husband detests folding laundry and would prefer to sort through boxes of unfolded clothes that put them away. Our roommate brings manfood to a new level simply because it’s easier than learning how to cook.
The above, well you may be able to find ways to live without, though for most people, the tasks you hate still need doing. Therefore, it’s wise to find ways to conquer your willful side. Here at Sassy Lasses, we happen to be very good at this. Let me share our top 3 tricks for getting shit done.
The Batch-Task Breakdown
I think I originally started batching tasks when I was working for the Gap. The location I worked was a factory outlet, meaning lots of stock, staff, and sales. Do you know what the hardest part of the job was? Coming in for truck at oh-dark-thirty to tear down skids upon skids of Gap crap.
When I first started, our team was… less than fast. More like… so slow we were in reverse. The thing that finally shook us up and got us processing like machines? Batching tasks.
Batch processing is the grouping of similar tasks that require similar resources to streamline their completion. The idea is that you group tasks of the same type together. Then, you work through the tasks in batch, you will maximize concentration and decrease distraction.
I recommend roping in a partner to play along, but you can do this on your own as well.
Let’s talk about my *favorite* task, doing the dishes. When I first met my husband, he would do dishes much like 80% of the people I encounter in my life. I was floored because here he was wasting so much time! Grab a glass, put it in the water, splash around, clean it, rinse it, place it in the dry rack, wait 30 seconds, and dry the glass. He would do this for each piece… Same sequence every time. It would take him HOURS. One night, our ability to eat dinner hinged on his completing the dishes. I was hungry and impatient. Enough is enough!
I chased him out of my way and went to work.
First, I took and sorted all the dishes; Cutlery, Pots & Pan, Dishes, Bowls, Glasses, etc. Then, I would fill the sink with the soapy water needed. In goes the first grouping. While let them sit a moment or two, I prepare my drying area. This would be a section of the counter where dry dishes would go. Once done, back over I go to the sink and would clean all the dishes in it.
They are rinsed and moved to the drying rack. While they dry, I’m loading the next batch into the sink and dealing with any water adjustments. As the dishes soak in the water, I’m drying the batch left and putting them on the counter. Rinse repeat until all dishes have been cleaned and moved to the final drying area where you put them all away. Done.
Try it at home, time yourself or race your spouse. You’ll be surprised how much time you might be wasting.
Positive Reinforcement AKA “OOH Piece of Candy!”
I’m a business owner. This means that I MUST deal with my accounting, taxes, paperwork… because who the hell else will? Can I say, I truly truly hate doing it. I only like numbers when they are large and in my bank account. All others can screw off.
Though again, that mentally doesn’t mean I don’t have to do it. Going into our 3rd year at Sassy Lasses and we may just have an accountant finally! Until now, well…
That’s where positive reinforcement comes in. It’s not enough that filing taxes keeps my government happy and me out of jail, those aren’t strong enough motivators. You know what is?
Taking a weekend off to get pie-eyed while gaming. (Or, is that just me?) So each year for tax time, getting the prep done and submitting it on time would earn me a new game, that weekend, and all the drinkypoos I wanted.
I really wanted that weekend, so I met the deadline. Also, I am far more likely to go out of my way to obtain what I WANT more than to avoid something I may need to deal with. Most are like that, in fact. If you hate it and you need to get it done, pick yourself a reward and follow through. Success.
Your brain can be bribed, remember that!
*cough* Outsource Tasks *cough*
Given my business and the subject, I couldn’t possibly avoid pointing the obvious… If you have the money, pay someone else to do it.
There are several reasons for this, but let’s home in on the money angle. If you hate it, you’ll be slow, or avoid, or f&^k around. The second that happens, you are throwing money away. Why pay yourself YOUR RATE to dick around? You’re ripping yourself off!
Take your money, hire someone who will do it for you. Find those that are passionate about it because those folks will knock it out of the part in an 8th of the time you can. Just thinking about it tickles my bank account.
If you aren’t sure what to outsource, start with the things you hate, then move up to the things you avoid. Or, come jump on a call with me and I’ll help you break down what you can give up right away. Let’s keep your money in your pocket, k?
ADDED BONUS: Strike a Deal!
There may be things you encounter that you still will not ever want to do. For me, no matter how much I love my cats, changing the litter is extremely hard for me. The ammonia screws up my breathing, sometimes for hours. When I lived alone, a box clean could leave me coughing and sputtering the rest of the day. Hardly good for production. This is something I needed to do frequently.
Yes, I always found ways to get it done until I met my husband. When I met Russell, I found out he couldn’t drive. It took a few weeks after that to learn he was rather phobic. Too much traffic or loud noises, or crazy bastards who can’t stay in their own lane, and he’d have troubles focusing. Sometimes he would shut down altogether.
I’m nothing if not resourceful and observant. You see, I LOVE to drive. Been driving ever since I was legally permitted to do so. Couldn’t dream of any other way. I did what made sense then and still makes sense now and offered to trade my husband. I would always drive, and he would always manage the cat litter. God damned brilliance.
It might not work all the time, though I urge you to consider those in your life (and the things they hate) for possible opportunities. There is something to be said for the resourceful!!
Reflecting on the Tasks you HATE
They can be conquered, and I’ve shared 3 ways to make sure that they are. Batch your tasks, reward yourself, perhaps even trade it off, and if all else fails, outsource it. Don’t waste precious time, energy or money on things you don’t even like. Save your best for the things you love to do and that you do best.
Oh, and if you get stuck, drop a comment below or shoot me a message and I will help you find your best solution!