Avoiding tasks you don't like, eh?

Is there work you normally avoid? Do you plan your day around maximizing the number of tasks you love to do and minimizing the number of tasks that aren't as interesting?

It is such a natural habit for us to find admittedly creative ways to get around doing necessary tasks that we are not excited about. As an example, one great avoidance method I have employed many times is the "schedule it for later" method. It is so powerful because it doesn't feel like an avoidance of the task. It feels productive and responsible because, whats more responsible than setting aside time to work on a task? However, all we are really doing is giving ourselves a reason to forgo doing something that should be done right now. While I am not saying that scheduling is a bad thing, it becomes bad when we use it like this.

The question I am posing to myself (and to you) is this,

How different would your life be if you never avoided tasks?

Very Different

[In fear of future interviewers using a list of tasks I have avoided as proof of my incompetency, I shall, for the right reason, avoid listing them here.]

So now that I have an answer to this question, what should I do about it?

Below, I have put the proposal for a trial run of an alternative. I am going to commit to doing it over the next month and, if you find yourself in the same boat as I, please feel free to join me!

Are you ready? Okay, here are the rules.

  1. An "avoided task" is something you must do that you would normally try to avoid.

  2. When you become aware of a task that you want to avoid / have avoided, in your head pretend that you are excited about it. And while in that state, ask yourself, when can you do it?

  3. Do the task at the time you get from the above step and as soon as its done, take a note of what it was somewhere.

  4. Tell yourself how much you love doing tasks that you like to avoid. Try to be as genuine as possible (finish reading the whole article to see what this step is about, I promise you will get it).

At the end of the month, stop and take a look at all the tasks that you would have normally procrastinated on and see how much of a difference doing them immediately has made.

Then you decide, was the last month of doing tasks you normally avoid worth it? If yes, then keep on doing this until step 4 is a completely true statement.

The idea for this method came from how I went from hating public speaking to loving it.

Up until high school, I hadn't been a fan of public speaking. But in 9th grade, I was told I had to speak for 3 minutes in front of the class in a couple of days. I was very, very nervous. Then out of nowhere came an idea; what if I told myself that I love public speaking? If I repeated it over and over again? Every time I thought about having to speak and my heart started racing, I told myself that it was my excitement, that my adrenaline rush wasn't fear but rather excitement. And much to my surprise, by the time I had to speak, I genuinely started feeling excited about the opportunity.

It is the same method I want to apply to this issue of procrastinating on tasks.

Hopefully, I will encounter the same level of success!