None of us are exactly living in sweet anticipation of the next time we do the dishes, feed the dog, check our email, pay bills, sort the laundry, or take the kids to soccer practice. But the everyday tasks of our lives don’t have to be annoying, boring, or depressing. Here are some ideas to help you find excitement in the mundane everyday stuff life throws your way.
1. Find new ways to do old tasks.
This is my secret weapon for doing laundry. There was a time when I wouldn’t go near the washer and dryer. There were two simple reasons. First, I was convinced I’d ruin clothes. It had happened before. Second, I felt that doing laundry was more boring than watching paint dry. When I decided that I needed to get my act together and start helping more around the house, I was determined to find a way to enjoy doing laundry. My wife made me a little laundry guide that she taped on the lid of the washer (it’s still there, and yes, I still look at it every time). I no longer worry about ruining clothes. And doing laundry is not boring to me anymore. Now, I multi-task. I watch a show on the TV, listen to an audiobook on my phone, think through the points of the sermon I’m preparing for the weekend, or plan a new blog post while I wash, dry, and fold. Now, I actually kind of like doing laundry (but don’t tell Wendy I said that).
My daughters attend gymnastics at a great local club here in Wichita. Learning and teaching skills is a routine that happens at this gym everyday. But this gym makes it special. Every time a child learns a new skill, the teacher rings a bell. Everyone knows this means that someone has learned something new. They all yell together “what’d you do?” The student yells back the skill, and then the others yell back “let’s see it!” Then that gymnast shows off what they’ve learned.
This is a great example of taking something that could be a boring routine and making it special. Years from now, these kids may not remember much about gymnastics classes, but it’s likely they’ll remember the bell and how much they enjoyed being the center of attention for a moment as they celebrated their achievement. Think this through—how can you add something special to the routines of your life? How can you make every day moments memorable?
3. Upgrade the task.For you, fulfillment may hinge on creating a more audacious goal. Click To Tweet
Maybe if you’re completely bored with a specific task it’s because you’re ready to kick that task up a notch. For you, fulfillment may hinge on creating a more audacious goal. The example of Julie Powell comes to mind. She was the young woman who challenged herself to cook every recipe in Julia Childs’ Mastering the Art of French Cooking, while blogging about her progress. That’s a task upgrade. Sometimes that’s what it takes to get our excitement motor running. Think outside the box. Figure out how that boring repetitive task can play a role in a bigger, more inspiring endeavor.
If you’re a people person, this one will be huge for you. Chances are that if you’re accommodating a repetitive task in your life, you’re pretty good at it. After all, you’ve been doing it for a while. So find someone that wants to learn how, and teach them. There’s something about helping someone learn how to do something that helps reignite a passion for that task.Figure out how that boring repetitive task can play a role in a bigger, more inspiring endeavor. Click To Tweet
5. Take the Long Look.
Remember this: you’re building something. Your building a life, a family, a career, a small group, a church… a future. Sometimes it may get a little tiresome laying one brick at a time, but remember that what you’re doing today counts. Don’t forget to take the long look.