Grab a blank sheet of paper and make two columns. On the left, list all the unpleasant chores you’re avoiding. They need to be concrete, cross-off-able and uncool. Like cleaning out your bedroom closet.
In the second, list the fun you’ve been meaning to have, but which you never manage to experience. Basically the opposite of column one, anything that follows “I’ve been meaning to try/taste/visit/explore/hear/make…” will work. They can be cheap or pricey, brief or lengthy, and as low- or high-tech as you want.
You’ll end up with this:
Unsubscribe from all those email lists Visit a Korean spa
Donate old clothes Explore downtown L.A. (for real this time)
Scrub the tub Go paintballing
Then, pair off the chores with the rewards. The best part about these lists is you probably already have them. You just haven’t combined them. Yet.
Honestly, when I came up with this idea, it didn’t sound like much. But the longer I think about it, the better it sounds and the more sense it makes.
We all have annoying tasks we transfer from list to list instead of completing. Sometimes the amorphous satisfaction of an organized Tupperware cabinet is just too vague to inspire excitement.
But maybe the promise of a trip to Daiso, the phenomenal Japanese $1.50 store, is enough to seal the deal.
Often, cool experiences are only a few psychological steps away. But permission and forgetfulness block our path. With this system, by completing the task, you automatically qualify for Fun (capitalization intentional). No need for guilt. Off you go.
Secondly, writing down the idea fixes them in your mind. They aren’t tucked in one of the 72 open Safari pages on your phone or mentioned in lively conversation and immediately forgotten. Worst of all, they aren’t recalled while driving, when there’s nothing to be done until the next red light. Unless you want to deal with Siri, i.e., the world’s worst employee.
Try it out. Obligation and adventure, finally hand in hand.