Just some weeks ago I went to my annual dental check-up. I have never been a big fan of going to the dentist – yet I acknowledge that it is very important to do on a frequent basis. With a one hour check-up you can prevent bigger damages from happening to your teeth.
At the dentist the main point was OK – I had no holes in my teeth. However, the removal of dental calculus was a bit painful operation and I decided to take care of my teeth better.
In fact, I promised that the next check-up is going to be a less painful experience. I also came up with a four step process to tackle the repeating and irritating tasks with ease – whether it is the removal of calculus or filing an annual tax report for the authorities.
1.Take action right away!
When you take care of the repeating and irritating task, promise yourself to take action right away.
For example, if it was a daunting experience to take care of your tax return to the authorities and you are going to face the same thing next year again, write down some notes what you did. This helps you to prepare for the next time (this is how I take care of my tax returns).
I remember after coming out of the dentists practice, that I promised to take care of my teeth better. In fact, my dentist gave me some special tooth picks to keep the space between my teeth clean.
2.Let the pain motivate you
Sometimes the painful experience can motivate you and you learn you lesson well.
For me, the unpleasant experience of the removal of dental calculus was enough. Ok, so the experience was not as painful as patching the hole in your teeth, but yet it was painful enough for me to learn my lesson.
The pain I experienced was my motivator: I don’t want to experience that again.
3.Execute pre-emptive action steps and create a habit
To tackle the irritating task before it is coming, you have to take action on a frequent basis and create a habit out of the preventive action steps.
In the dental scenario, the action steps were to clean my teeth with a special toothpick.
To make the habit stick, I remembered the pain I had to go through when sitting in the dentist chair. That made me to schedule my teeth cleaning sessions for every week from now on.
4.Take care of the task with least effort
Most of the time we procrastinate on taking care of those irritating tasks. As soon as the task is not done, it is in our mind and we have to spend your energy on thinking about it.
If this is happening to you, try get the task out of the way as quickly as possible. For example my dentist sends me an invitation to come to the check-up automatically. This happens at the beginning of each year. Naturally I try to make it so that the appointment is not postponed (thus I don’t have to waste my energy of that unpleasant thing at all).
Same thing it is with every other task that is a daunting one: the more you procrastinate, the more energy you spend on thinking the task and you are just teasing yourself. Try to take care of the task as quickly as possible. Once you have dealt with the task, you can erase it from your mind.
Everyone faces irritating tasks that on just has to deal with. Sometimes those tasks are even recurring (for example taxation issues).
To take care of those kinds of tasks with least effort, it is time to create some pre-emptive habits that make the unpleasant task less painful.
I wanted to share my four step process of handling these kinds of tasks with my dentist example. The process is simple and it will help you to be prepared for your task with less stress than before.
Your next tasks:
1. Put this blog post into action!
- Figure out your irritating and repeating tasks
- Create a preparation plan for those tasks. Eventually when you deal with the task, it is much easier than what it was before (without any planning).
2. Share your experiences and tips on the comment area:
- What recurring and irritating tasks you have to face on a frequent basis?
- How do you tackle those tasks, what is your plan?
3. Spread the word:
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