Make Important Things More Satisfying or Fun

If you want or need to do something in your life, make it fun, satisfying, or exciting. It’s a simple premise, and it works.

I know what you’re thinking—laundry isn’t exciting and you still do it as needed. But do you always take your clothes immediately out the dryer or do you leave them in for five days until you need something in there? You don’t have to answer that. And don’t ask me if I’ve done it.

Laundry Lessons

Mundane examples like laundry often hold clues about the bigger lessons we can learn. The process of doing laundry involves a few key things that can be improved.

  • Do you have a nice laundry basket that’s easy to carry?
  • Is your closet organized and ready for action?
  • Do you have a good space to sort through your clothes?
  • Do you have too many clothes, including ones you don’t like?

If all of these areas are fine tuned for satisfaction and ease, you may actually enjoy the whole process. If one or more of them is chaos, you will avoid it.

Extrapolate this concept to other areas, like your workplace, or your workout process, and you’ll find half a dozen ways you can improve them. Sometimes the improvements cost money, but not always. For example, decluttering an area is free and has a big impact on how much you enjoy using it.

For my garage gym, I decided to cough up the money for a squat and bench press rack, and I am so excited to work out now. I have a solid workout habit already, but the quality will increase substantially with the ability to do barbell exercises. I also bought a hex bar for deadlifts. Fun! I tweaked my back while assembling the unit because it’s 2020 and that’s the law, but I’ll be rearing to use it as soon as I recover.

If something is important to you, and you dread doing it, that means something is wrong, not with you, but the process you’re using. For some people, laying out their workout clothes is life changing. Why? It streamlines the process of working out. It makes it more satisfying.

I want to quickly cover the three areas you can target and what they might look like.

Make It More Exciting/Fun

I have my office setup with a desk and chair. But I also have a laptop that I can use to write on the couch. Sometimes, it’s simply more fun to relax on the couch and write, maybe with something on the TV in the background. Having both options entices me to work in more situations.

I created the Elastic Habits book and system in part to make the process more fun. Multiple levels of victory and interactive tracking tools make habit tracking more exciting. It goes from “I have to do this thing” to “I’m going for the elite/gold level today!” Imagine if the olympics gave every person a participation trophy and nobody medaled. Who would train hard to compete in that?

Some of the most successful, creative, brilliant companies are also the most fun places to work. Google is one of the most valuable companies on Earth, and they have some of the best standard work benefits.

I believe Google’s continued innovation and success is also due in part to their slightly crazy, fun ideas like nap pods and allowing people to bring their pets to work with them.

Make It More Satisfying

Not all things have the capacity for fun and excitement. Brushing your teeth? Taking out the trash? Vacuuming?

But just about anything can be satisfying. Sure, for some people, seeing a dirty floor get clean is all the satisfaction they need. But for others (me), I need the right equipment.

I have a wireless battery-powered vacuum and a standard plug-in vacuum. The wireless one is great for quick work, and the other one is great for when I dumped diatomaceous earth all over the guest bedroom. It’s satisfying to have the right tools for the situation.

Going back to Google, they know that a key part of work satisfaction is autonomy. So they give it to their employees with 20% of their time being spent however they think will benefit the company the most. Gmail was created by an employee in his “20% free time” period. How satisfying!

Instead of going through the motions, whenever you find important tasks to be difficult or a struggle, carefully analyze the process and tools you use. This works for mundane tasks such as laundry as well as life-critical tasks like exercise. Look for ways to make them more fun, more satisfying, or both. This is the easiest and first step to improve your behavior, and it can make all the difference in your results.

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