By Ella Miller

Ever wake up and think about all of the mundane tasks that are about to fill up the next few hours of your life? Ever wish those to-dos could feel less like a chore and more like fun?

Surely we all have felt overwhelmed by the work that lies ahead of us at some point or another. Here are a few approaches that I take to turn bring-me-down tasks into lift-me-up experiences. Balancing what we don’t enjoy with what we DO enjoy can make all the difference and leave us feeling more fulfilled.

1. VISUALIZE THE END PRODUCT Don’t consider the specific steps to do the task; visualize the outcome and the relief or happiness you will feel when you are done. For example, reorganizing your closet: Instead of dwelling on the tedious task of emptying everything out of your shelves and hiding spaces, think about the completed, beautifully-organized closet you are creating where everything is easy to find and without clutter. Also consider the time you will save by not having to hunt through your closet for specific pieces of clothing. Focusing on the positive end results will fuel your motivation to get the job done!

2. INCORPORATE WHAT YOU LOVE When I have to face tasks that I don’t enjoy, like painting a room, cleaning up the yard or polishing the floors, I ask myself, “What DO I enjoy?” and then I incorporate what’s enjoyable into the chore. Here are some ideas:

a. Turn up your latest playlist. Music can be so refreshing and invigorating. b. Not in the mood for music? How about a podcast while doing chores around the house, yard or garage. Or tune into a podcast you’ve never listened to before for a new “listening adventure.” c. Download a new how-to audio book that will teach you something fresh and valuable. d. Learn a new language via online course. For instance, you can practice your French while folding laundry. e. Catch up on episodes of your favorite TV show or watch a movie (personally, I love devouring Documentaries). f. Call a friend or family member. Plug in your wireless headphones and use task time to catch up with loved ones about life. They can do chores on their end, too, and you can both be super productive! g. Impact your outlook with aromatherapy. Scent can be powerful when it comes to boosting your mood and motivation or bringing calm. For instance, peppermint and lemon are invigorating, while scents such as chamomile and lavender are soothing. I simply plug in my essential oil diffuser while I work and enjoy the benefits. You can also apply skin-safe essential oils and carry the sensational scent with you as you move through your to-do list.

3. PACE YOURSELF & ENJOY SIMPLE REWARDS Looking at a long list of to-dos can seem daunting. Instead, break the list up into smaller “bite size” pieces (ex: I’ll clean out my drawers, wash the dog and dust furniture today; I’ll wash the windows, prune the plants and hang pictures tomorrow) and give yourself a few minutes of break time in between. During those breaks, do something you enjoy like take a quick walk (can bring a pet along, too), read a quick chapter of a book, watch funny or entertaining YouTube videos, or simply enjoy a cup of tea/coffee. All work and no play can suck the fun out of any day. It’s really all about finding a work-play balance that works for you.

With these few easy tips, you can change your perspective about handling tasks so they’re more than just chores... they’re a time to do something enjoyable for yourself. Here’s to turning have-to-dos into love-to-dos.

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