How to feel better about the jobs you hate

Kathy Krugerbalance, contentment, perspective23 Comments

Washing. Ironing. Cleaning. Bill paying. Chauffeuring. Office admin. Picking the lint off your favourite jacket, because someone other than you did that load of washing (well actually I don’t mind that one, in an inane, turn-off-my-brain-while-I-watch-TV kinda way).

Jobs you love to hate (there’s a hint right there).

If you can’t get out of them, what can you do?

Drumroll please!

I think I have the answer (well an answer). And of course it has to do with balance – between what you hate and what you love. Between what you think you hate and what you think you love (and I really don’t like the word hate).

It’s all about the matching process. Match up chores with treats. Link less than exciting tasks with things that make your heart sing. Pair pain with pleasure.

Call it a reward system if you like (and let’s face it that’s pretty much what it is), but it’s a bit deeper than that.

You can’t just earn yourself a diamond ring by doing a load of washing (just imagine the bling if that were the case).

And you can’t go and buy yourself something every time you complete a chore – not even applying the pocket money going rate of 50c or $1 per job.

But you can divvy up your day (or week) in such a way that you ‘eat the frogs’ that you don’t want to, but still have to; tackle the mundane daily grind; and match the drudgery with moments of peace, simple pleasures, joyful experiences and just a little bit of conspicuous consumption.

Remembering that balance isn’t equal (so 8 hours in the office isn’t going to be matched by 8 hours of R&R), but you can still find the balance if you know where to look.

I’ve previously suggested turning your TO DO list into a TO BE list and matching ‘good with the bad’ is another idea I reckon works when it comes to getting things done AND finding more enjoyment in the doing and in life.

Here’s how my ‘balance list’ might look.

  • 3 x loads of washing ><= 1 x yoga class (I like to do a lot of yoga)
  • 1 x writing work report ><= 3 x writing blog posts
  • Picking up toys/clothes/miscellaneous off the floor ><= a cup of coffee in peace
  • Paying 3 x bills online ><= reading 2 x blog posts by favourite bloggers
  • 2 hours overtime at work ><= 1 x new pair of shoes (but not a pair of Manola Blahniks)
  • 1 x cooking healthy, tasty meal ><= 2 squares of quality dark chocolate
  • 1 x watching kids movie for the 10th time ><= watching an SBS documentary you just can’t miss
  • 40 mins chauffeuring child to/from dance ><= listening to 4 x your (as opposed to kid’s) favourite songs in the car
  • This weekend spring cleaning ><=  a night out at a ball with a prince (because sometimes a girl has to dream)

CinderellaSo you get the idea – 8 minutes of frustration in a queue is offset by 2 minutes to stop and listen to the birds. Not equal, but same, same.

Of course you can just decide to hate less and love more. And in thinking of your reward (offset/trade-off/bling) you may even forget about that thing you hate so much that you just get it done. And then you can smile and wonder what all the fuss was about. And then you can just smile.

Smile. And do the laundry, because it’s always there to be done.

Linking up With Some Grace for FYBF. And liking up for weekend rewind with Sonia (Life Love and Hiccups), Bron (Maxabella and her lovely new Heartfelt Living site), Kelly (A life less frantic) and Sonia (Sonia Styling).

What would your matching list look like?

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Kathy KrugerHow to feel better about the jobs you hate

23 Comments on “How to feel better about the jobs you hate”

  1. Me

    This is a great way to look at getting the chores done !!!! I am a bit of a procrastinator at times and then, when I do actually get around to doing whatever I have put off for so long i.e. tax returns, I wonder why I didn’t just do them and get them out the way sooner instead of having them hanging over my head like a horrible shadow !!!
    I think I will have to come up with ‘rewards’ that work for me and get a schedule going – thanks so much for sharing !!!
    Have a great weekend !
    Me xox

  2. Cassandra

    I needed to read this today! I have an anxiety disorder and I already use a “treat” system to get myself to do things that make me anxious, but it honestly never clicked to use it for housework!
    This is my first visit to your blog (via FYBF), I’ve given you a Facebook follow and I can’t wait to see more of your posts. 🙂

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Cassandra – and sorry for the delay in responding. I reckon you can use it for all sorts of things that we would prefer not to do or procrastinate over. I really appreciate your kind feedback.

  3. Vicki | Style On V

    Love your thought process and the rewards you have offered along the way. My favourite is reading and commenting on blogs. I plan to make my Saturday morning dedicated to reading and leaving a comment on blogs. Have a fab weekend. V

  4. This Charming Mum

    I really like this list Kathy. I often do these sorts of ‘bargains’ with the kids, but I guess with myself it’s more of a ‘have to’ feeling with fewer rewards. Time to start thinking of some balance treats just for me 🙂

  5. hugzillablog

    Nice! I quite like pottering around the house in general, it’s just cooking that I hate. I often spend my time wishing that humans would just evolve to survive without food already, but something like this is way more realistic. LOL.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      I like cooking, sometimes love it (just not the boring everyday nature of it). Don’t know how you are going to get around evolution when it comes to eating, but good luck with reducing your cooking requirements.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      I can certainly see you being organised and committed – I think this helps when you get overwhelmed by drudgery – and we all need more rewards really.

  6. Kathy Kruger

    Hi Vicki – hope you enjoyed your blog reading – I’m just catching up on comments and reading blogs now after a busy weekend. Glad you like the thinking behind the balance list.

  7. Denise

    I like your thinking Kathy and I’m definitely going to try it. I hate doing laundry so much I sometimes feel like chucking it all in the bin – that’s bad isn’t it? Not sure how I’d have coped if I’d been born before washing machines were invented.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      It would have been horrendous before washing machines – I wonder whether we do it to ourselves though – more clothes in our material world these days always seems to equal more washing!

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