We Do It Because it is Hard

If like me you are a compiler of lists you will be familiar with that one item that never gets ticked off, the job that we seem have a mental block about. We find it easier to do something else than to tackle it. Our sticky task is in effect a blind spot. The longer you put it off the scarier it becomes.

Having recently confronted just such an issue head on I devised a series of killer questions to help me.

  • How long has this task stayed on my list? Days, months, years?
  • Does it make me feel uncomfortable?
  • If so, what makes me feel most uncomfortable about it? Aside from avoidance what would make me feel more comfortable?
  • Enter the uncomfortable zone (go towards it not away from it)
  • Re-define the task using positive, comfortable words. Schedule it
  • Keep going until the job is done
  • Give self a pat on the back

Here is an example. I hate ironing but I also hate wearing crumpled shirts. ‘Iron my shirts’ has appeared on my to-do list for several weeks now. I feel uncomfortable doing this task when I could be spending the time engaged in something more pleasurable. Aside from not ironing, having someone else to do it would be the most comfortable option.

I looked for ways to make the process of ironing more enjoyable. Listening to a half hour radio play whilst ironing made me feel good and I had a basketful of beautiful wrinkle free shirts to show for it.

Job done! Feel good about yourself

What will you focus on?

By Cecil Stoughton, White House – This media is available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration.

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade, not because they are easy, but because they are hard” – President John F. Kennedy






[We Do It Because it is Hard]