Chores to Rewards: Changing your Approach to Daily Tasks

Faith.Work.Life. Life: Participating vs. Contributing

I recently had a conversation with Steadman (family nickname for my bf) in which he gave me a great suggestion. He suggested that I completely change my approach to all the daily tasks that I need to complete. Specifically, he suggested that I stop making lists of all the thing that I need to accomplish and instead make a list of everything that I complete during the day. After doing this for almost 90 days, I’m convinced that his suggestion was exactly the shift that my psyche needed. So, because this shift has been successful for me, I’m sharing it with you. Here are the steps that you can undertake to begin to recognize your daily accomplishments.

1. Establish your categories

My categories were: this website, health, cleaning my apartment, and my father’s estate (he passed in August last year). I suggest that you only have between 3 and 5 categories. As you go through your day, you will need to be able to quickly determine if a particular task will count and that will be pretty hard if you have to determine if it falls under more than 5 categories. (Note: If your categories don’t align with your priorities, you won’t maximize the potential of this tutorial. So make sure you have clear honest priorities.)

2.Set your goal number

You need to figure out how many tasks you NEED, not want, to accomplish. I know everything is important, but don’t worry it will all get done eventually. Start with 3 tasks and if that’s easy shoot for 5. If 5 isn’t a challenge shoot for 10. The point of this is to push yourself. After a while, you’ll know how many tasks you can accomplish on any day with average effort. Shoot for more than that, but if you hit your average you’re doing it!

3.Track your tasks

Whether you decide to use and app, create daily memos on your phone, or go old school and tuck a notebook in your pocket/purse just keep track of your tasks! If you’re like me and, for example, you wash clothes but don’t fold them and put them away, then washing clothes can be up to 3 tasks (washing, folding, and putting them away). Tasks can only be broken down into separate (sub)tasks if you normally wouldn’t do the entire task. Aka you’re like me and wouldn’t fold and put away the clothes…in the beginning I totally gave myself credit for folding and putting away the clothes!

4. Count ’em up!

First count your tasks every day. If you hit your goal you can reward yourself. Something small but make it good. After a few months count your tasks on a weekly basis. Reward yourself if you either hit your goal every day (or at least maintained your goal). After a while you will be getting lots of things done everyday and you’ll be used to accomplishing alot with minimal effort. And if you don’t hit your goal at all, look back in your list and be glad about what you have accomplished (not what didn’t get crossed off that list the way you used to do it.)

 

So give this a try and let me know how it works out for you. And don’t forget that this approach is good for personal and professional tasks!

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