How To Do What You Hate

I don’t know about you, but there are certain things I just hate to do.

Offline, dishes are one of those things. I’ve found that the most effective way to do dishes is to do them as they get dirty. But, I’m also a great procrastinator, so when I just have one dish I’ve dirtied, it’s far easier to put it in the sink than wash it. So I do. The same with the next dish, and the next, and so on. Pretty soon, I’ve procrastinated to the point where the pile of dishes is this insurmountable obstacle that I can’t possibly do anything about.

Online, updating plugins to new versions is one of the things I hate to do. Upgrades are important for security reasons, but you never know when an upgrade will cause some problem with other plugins. It’s hard for me to mess with something that works, even though it might be more secure after I finishing messing with it.

The strategy that I’ve found to get through those tasks I hate, whether it’s dishes or updating plugins, is to start with the easiest single item, and just do it. I don’t think about the huge pile of dishes, or the large number of plugins, I just do the easiest one. My sneaky way of talking myself into this is to tell myself that I’ll just do the one and then quit. I’ll have made my gesture, then I can do something fun.

But when that one item is done, I talk myself into another. And another, and another. And pretty soon, the pile’s almost gone, and I feel pretty good about having done it all.

So the next time you have something to do that you hate, lie to yourself that you’ll do just part of it, and then reward yourself with something fun. It works!

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