Get the most out of trivial tasks
Now you might think that I’m about to post about doing the dishes, and that I lost my mind. Answers to that is yes, no, yes… The real subject of this post is not about doing the dishes but how to get the most out of the time you spend doing the trivial tasks such as doing the dishes.
Me and doing dishes
Yes, I have to admit it: I don’t mind doing the dishes. This does not mean that I love to do the dishes but I guess I’m one of the few on the planet that can actually enjoy it. Most people hate it and feel it is a waste of time (See below how to get saved).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not collecting dishes for a whole week to just have a laugh doing them during the weekend. It’s a daily task for me and no I don’t have a dish washer, would ruin the fun.
Letting my mind fly
The reason I enjoy doing the dishes is that it is a perfect time of the day to let my mind fly. When I do the dishes I do a lot of light thinking, seldom some in-depth thinking. This also has to do with the timing; as I’m often doing the dishes when the kids are in bed but not sleeping. So I will often be interrupted several times (10 times is not uncommon).
I just finished the dishes before; so let me recap what was on my mind while doing that:
- When are the kids finally going to sleep (had that thought a few times)
- Ideas for new blogs
- Blog issues that I talked with Daniel Klein about yesterday
- Weekend and what we will be doing
- That I should really find some time to play all the new games I bought
- Better remember to call my mom
- That I need to do a few hours of work
- When I will have time for poker again and that I should try some tournaments
- How cool this is (thinking while doing the dishes)
- That I should do this blog
I don’t remember all the thoughts I had; I change subject quickly, jumping from one thing to the next. This also works very well when the kids are calling; I just go back to whatever I feel like thinking (Something the kids said…)
Never try to solve problems or find solutions
As mentioned I never try to do any in-depth thinking about problems or solutions; been interrupted by the kids would just get me annoyed and then I end up not getting anything out of it all. At the same time I use this ‘thinking’ time as a brain cleaning progress, recreation of the mind if you like. Some times it does turn into a R&D of various things (Blog ideas, game ideas…) but it is never on purpose. If I started the first thought about “Today I need to think about…” then it would not work; again, let your mind fly.
Using this in different ways
I just explained how I don’t try to solve problems or find solutions but still end up doing some R&D. If I was thinking about work when I do the dishes then I would feel annoyed by having to do the dishes, and actually, I do think about work a hell lot already.
I’m not saying that you have to do it this way; we all work in different ways. Some examples of how people can use this in different ways:
- Game Designer: Think about new game play elements for your next game.
- Business owner: New business opportunities (How to create them). How to improve marketing.
- Blogger: Changes in design. New subjects to cover. New blogs. Joining blog networks.
- Home going person: How to get more out of spare time (How to get spare time in the first place). New activities for the whole family.
The possibilities are endless.
Not only when doing the dishes
No one says you can’t do all the above when you do other mundane work that you otherwise finds boring. A few other examples:
- Walk the dog
- Mow the lawn (Just be careful where the lawnmower is going)
- Clean up the place (Unless you need to think about where to put the things)
- Traveling to work (Train works best as you don’t have to concentrate on the traffic)
- Doing fitness. May it be when you are out running or working with the fitness machines
Sure you could just take your iPod (or whatever mp3 player you got) and listen to some music, or even better to some podcasts but I do think it is very important to do some none serious thinking from time to time. Clear your mind, don’t fill it up.
So get started with it
Next time you have to do the dishes then don’t start thinking “Damn, I hate this. Total waste of time.” but rather think about what you just read and then I’m sure your mind will fly as mine did. At the end you might realized that doing the dishes took less time and you where not annoyed afterwards. Of course I don’t expect you to start loving doing the dishes, but you just don’t know till you tried.