I just finished cleaning my house. It’s not my favourite job in the world. I’d rather be writing, or better yet, reading with my feet up.
But cleaning has to get done. So how do I find the motivation to do it? And not only that – how can I actually enjoy it?
I’m not sure I’m ever going to really enjoy cleaning, but I can at least do it without feeling like a bear woken too early from hibernation. Here’s how:
1. Figure out why you do it.
Why do you need to do this task? For me, I have to clean the house for the most basic health and safety needs. If I didn’t, it would be a health hazard, not to mention the piles of clutter would grow to dangerous proportions. So I have to.
2. Look for the deeper reasons.
If you’re like me, knowing why I have to do an undesirable task is often not enough. So think a bit harder. If health and safety isn’t enough to make me want to clean my house, then I can think about how nice it will be for my family to live in a clean, tidy house. I can think about how good I’ll feel when everything is orderly. I can think about having guests over, even.
3. Invent a reason.
Sometimes knowing the real reasons why you do something still isn’t enough. So make up a reason. Play pretend. Why not? I found after watching Downton Abbey I had a surge of motivation to clean my house – I really picked up on the servants’ sense of pride in keeping “the family’s” house beautiful. And it wasn’t even theirs! I figure if they could do all that work every day, I can do it once a week without complaining. So every once in a while – don’t laugh – I pretend I’m a servant in a mansion doing the best job I can.
4. Make it a game.
This makes me think of Mary Poppins. Are you singing the song yet? Try and race your best time at accomplishing a task. Compete with someone else. Dance while you’re vacuuming, or listen to music. Make it fun, and chances are it won’t seem like such a chore.
5. Reward yourself.
When you finish that necessary evil, give yourself a treat. When you add something enjoyable to an unenjoyable thing, you make an association in your brain that will stick.
So, whatever you have to do today or this week that you don’t want to do, hopefully these tips will help you get it done and feel good about it too. 🙂