Mark Twain once said that you should eat a live toad first thing each morning. Once that’s over with, it’s all up hill.
Get the miserable task out of the way first thing and the rest will seem like a piece of cake. I take a slightly different approach. I reward myself with something enjoyable (like allowing myself to sit and read another chapter or two of a really enjoyable book or spend time working on a knitting project) ONLY if I complete a chore first. I’m a big believer in the “rewards” system. Guess, after years of parenting and providing childcare, somethings just stick with you. It’s a win-win solution. Trouble is that, as time has passed, my “reward time” has stretched into longer and longer durations. Sometimes, I have convinced myself that if I just contemplate a difficult job, that in itself is enough to allow the corresponding reward.
I think it’s funny how we can easily trick the human mind into believing what we want it to believe. I really am not comfortable bending the rules too much (even if I do get to set the rules) so I have begun demanding more of myself — it is no longer enough to contemplate, I now must write it down on my to-do list. Once written, my brain is given immediate permission to release it. “No worries, be happy!” I know folks who use this approach when they find themselves having trouble sleeping — they keep paper and pencil on their nightstand just for this purpose.
I have also discovered that when the pile of to-do lists becomes unmanageable, it is totally acceptable to discard them. That’s right! The same “release” procedure that worked when you wrote them down, is in affect when you discard them. “No worries, be happy.” Tomorrow is a new day, and with it will come another new list. Life is good!