When facing challenges or tasks that are not inherently enjoyable, I try to approach each one with the question of, “How can I make it be fun?”
It doesn’t always work!
Sometimes it’s because of me and the way I’m feeling and the way that it detracts from some things that I’d rather do. Sometimes the nature of the task might actually be fun for some people – but not for me. I know that some people actually enjoy assembling a piece of furniture or a child’s toy. I’ve never really learned to enjoy it – even when I’ve been able to do it
It doesn’t stop me from approaching such tasks by asking, “How can I make it be fun?”
Over time, I’ve developed a few techniques that seem to work – at least for me.
1. I occasionally time myself to see if I can break my all-time record for (as an example) cleaning the basement or going through my mail after a week’s vacation.
2. I try to involve someone whose company I enjoy to help me complete the task. Grandchildren are especially good to make this strategy work.
3. I might build in a reward (like a movie that I especially want to see or one of those deserts that normally try to avoid) that I can only have when I am done with what I had set out to do. Focusing on the reward instead of the chore serves as a good distraction.
4. Breaking the task up into smaller manageable chunks can often make it more tolerable and sometimes more fun.
5. Visualizing the end result and how proud I will be when it is achieved often allows me to enjoy the process more as well as motivating me to complete the task sooner.
These strategies are my gift to you, but I suspect that you’ve figured out some of your own. If that is the case, please share them with me and The Mental Health Gym.
Having a range of strategies available to call upon can enable us to meet unpleasant challenges in a way that can make them more tolerable and even more fun.