Putting the Fun in Functional

 

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I dont find doing daily chores fun or interesting. I find doing the dishes, putting things away, taking out the trash, folding laundry and (drumroll) for my all time favorite, cleaning the kitty litter annoying and stupid and lacking reward. I eagerly anticipate  the day that one of my cats  congratulates me on keeping their litter box clean but of course that will never happen. The closest I get to recognition on the littler box condition is when someone visits and says, Wow, you have two cats and your house doesnt smell bad at all.

We all have boring tasks that have to be attended to on a regular basis that we would rather not do  but if we avoid them long enough we might find the producers of the TV show Hoarders, knocking on our door wanting to feature us on the show.

Its hard to make our brains want to do boring repetitivetasks. I have never said to myself, Wow I am so psyched to do the dishes, and then when Im done I get to mop the floor, yay!The trick is to somehow make these tasks interesting and fun. You also need to be aware of how long things actually take so you can skip the excuse of it will take too long.

Go with the facts. It takes me less than five minutes to unload the dishwasher. I know this for a fact because I have timed this chore but a part of my brain will always tell me, Dont do that now, it will take too long.I wonder how come my brain rarely says,Dont play your video game now, it will take too long,even though my video game is the black hole of time, and a complete time suck.

Here are some strategies for getting chores done.

Make a list and write down the boring things you need to do even if you do them every day.
Do the stuff on your list and then you get to cross those things off.
Bring your body to the task.
Set a timer. Tell yourself, I only have to work on this task for ten minutes.
Try speeding up your tempo to be done before the timer goes off.
Play music with a strong beat and a fast tempo.
Count the number of steps you are taking. Instead of thinking, I need to clean the whole house try putting away 20 things and count as you go.
Give yourself a little reward when you are done. (Chocolate works for me.)

The ADHD brain craves doing things that are fun and interesting but a large majority of our daily tasks really are boring and stupid yet have to get done. When we come up with ways to make them more interesting and fun it is easier to get them done.

 

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Kathy Sussell is an ADHD coach who works with teens, college students and adults with ADHD. Kathy helps them with time management, planning and prioritizing, initiating and finishing tasks, organizing paper and objects and other life skills. Kathy is the co-author of, Managing Your ADHD: Tips and Solutions from A-Z. She is the organizer of the ADHD Women’s Meetup Group that meets every month in NYC. For more information visit her website: www.bravolifecoaching.com or email Kathy at kathy@bravolifecoaching.com

 

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