I’m going to ask you a question and I want to know what the first thing to come to your mind. What, in your business or your personal life, do you do regularly that you really don’t enjoy?
Now, I want to know why you need to continue doing this task you dislike so much.
When I ask myself that question, my answer for my personal life is dishes. My answer for my business is pitching myself to clients. I’m sure so many of you can relate and laugh along with me when I mention the first task. Trust me, I cannot wait until the day comes when my kids are old enough to take care of the dishes as one of their household helps. But the second one? The one where I vulnerably admit that I get a pit in my stomach when it comes time to show potential clients how much they can gain by working with me? I can’t stop doing that one. I am my entire brand right now. I’m currently a one-woman team and even after I grow, I don’t plan on handing the responsibility of pitching to clients off to someone else (at least not anytime soon).
Why do I ask you, then, if you can stop doing tasks you hate? Because for those tasks that you can reasonably stop doing, you should consider it! And for those tasks that still need to happen, how can we make them a bit more palatable?
If a task needs to be done regularly, but you REALLY don’t like doing it, consider these options:
- Can you hand responsibilities for this task off to someone else (like having my kids do dishes)? This might be someone else within your team or family. It could also mean hiring someone to take care of it.
- Can you add this task to a regularly scheduled batch session help me get it done with less friction? Batch work isn’t effective for everyone, but if you can hammer out this task as a part of regularly scheduled work, you may not have to work so hard to convince yourself to get it done.
- Can I break this task up into smaller, more manageable chunks? This might mean doing one small load of laundry daily instead of doing ALL when you run out of undies.
- Can you turn the task into a hybrid of options? Maybe you subscribe to receive stock photos or Canva templates regularly to make your social media management less stressful but you handle the rest of the process yourself.
If, ultimately, it doesn’t make sense to stop doing a task entirely and you can’t do anything to remove any part of the activity, try getting psychology on your side. Consider using one or more of the following tactics to ease the irritation.
- Reward yourself for completing the task. Try a nice long bath, a piece of chocolate, 30 minutes to read a book, or any other little pleasure that may entice you.
- Tell someone else about the task. Ask them to hold you accountable for completing it.
- Realize that the task probably need to be done perfectly, it just needs to get done.
- Set a time limit for how long you will work on something. Once that timer goes off, you can stop, even if you aren’t finished (hint: usually once we get working on something we have motivation to finish it even after the timer goes off).
- Acknowledge that one of the biggest reasons you may not want to do something is fear or discomfort. Make a plan for how to handle those feelings. Remind yourself that, typically, your brain is blowing those feelings out of proportion and it really isn’t that scary!
In life and business, there will always be tasks that we dread. The first step to dealing with them is actually considering that they may not be as important or vital as you make them out to be. Is the requirement to complete those tasks just in your head? Do they actually serve a purpose to improve your business, keep you on the right side of the law (such as taxes or contracts), or make your life more fulfilling? If the task really is important and it needs to get done, can you outsource all or part of it to someone else? If, in the end, the task needs to be yours and yours alone, figure out a way to make it less daunting.
Do you need help to make a plan of attack for your disliked business tasks? We can discuss then during a strategy call or we can hold you accountable with regular coaching calls.
So I’ll ask you again. What, in your business or your personal life, do you do regularly that you really don’t enjoy? What are you going to do about it?