If you could somehow convince your brain that the unpleasant tasks are actually tasks you want to do, you would be more inclined to engage them. You do this by changing your thinking from “you have to” to “you get to.”
For example, take the generally agreed unpleasant task of billing. It has been piling up on your desk for weeks and now it’s time to get to it. But because you view it as unpleasant, your natural propensity is to avoid it because “you have to.” How do you turn it into something you are drawn to and “get to?”
Change Your Thinking
The simple challenge is to take what you don’t want to do and turn it into something you do want to do by changing the way you think and act. This is based on the approach and avoidance motivation system. It says that you approach stimuli that are considered pleasant and avoid stimuli that are unpleasant.
How It Works
If you were going to find ways to “enjoy” doing your billing, you would begin by mentally rehearsing to yourself that you actually enjoy the task. Make it so that you get to do it, not you have to do it.
“This really isn’t so bad. I’ve done this lots of times before. Once I start, I’ll complete it and it, I won’t have it hanging over me. That will be a relief. I’ll feel better and I can get on with the things I like to do.”
Next, commit yourself to doing one bill and allow yourself to quit once the first bill is completed, if you choose. You won’t, of course, because your brain is now in pursuit mode. By prompting your brain to approach the task and taking the first step, you settle into execution behavior until the task is completed.
You can use this technique with any task you consider unpleasant: entering your time, attending a network meeting, beginning a project or having a difficult conversation. This is a proven method that will allow you to accomplish so much more, not because you have to, but because you get to.
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