Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Moody Mondays - The Art of Tricking Yourself

First in a series of posts themed Moody Mondays...

Today I talk about The Art of Tricking Yourself. It's a precious skill which, when mastered, can make you achieve a lot in a short span of time and leave you with a great sense of accomplishment... all while you've lazed most of the day!

Let me begin by saying that whatever I share comes from my own personal experience. The pointers are mainly related to household chores (but you never know how they might help in an outside of home work environment). It's not for you sickeningly perfect home makers who get each day's work done and over with as and when it surfaces *prrrftttt*. It's for those of us who prefer to let the work ferment for a week..or two and then wake up one morning with a sickening feeling that it's time to taste that huge backlog of household work!

And this my friends is how you handle those fateful days...

1. Embrace Procrastination -

Face it, when there are (what might seem) a mountain of chores, the only issue most of us have is starting trouble. As a proud sloth I'm ashamed to admit there's a little person inside me who actually enjoys *gasp* doing her chores once she has begun to do them! I used to think procrastination was my enemy until I realized it didn't need to be. If you really feel like putting it off then just put it off. For a couple of hours at least. When it comes to housework nothing *needs* to happen right this moment. If those dishes don't get done or the dust doesn't get wiped off the furniture in the next half hour the world is not going to end. Remember that the work needs to get done *today* but not *right now*.

2. Do Not Feel Guilty -

Now guilt is truly your worst enemy! The moment you feel guilty you're weakening yourself. Just because you hate yourself for not getting any work done doesn't mean you're going to get it done! In fact guilt is going to slow you down ever more and make that work feel worse than it actually is. It's something you don't want to do and by feeling guilty you feel forced into doing it and that'll make you not want to do it even more! A vicious circle you must avoid at all costs! Feel cozy and comfortable in what you're doing, or in this case not doing. And love yourself completely for who you are - even if you're a lazy bum! Only when you have achieved this can you attempt the next step.

3. Be Lazy Till You're Sick Of It-

When I say be lazy I mean you should do absolutely *nothing* of consequence! To start with, don't even get out of bed. Or if you do, it should be just to eat something - a quick (but healthy) fix like cereal or fruits since you're too lazy to cook anything and get right back to bed. DO NOT have bath, it really adds to that sense of slothfulness. Don't read a book either (it's obviously a useful thing to do), if you must read then read a comic. If you connect to the net, do only useless crap! Say you're on facebook for example, don't use that time to promote your Etsy store, instead play a pointless game of Mafioso (not Twirl or Scrabble which are good for your brain!) You may surf your favorite websites or blogs if you must but you most certainly should not create a blog post of your own! I like to spend hours on XKCD, Etsy and Think Geek.... Or read a bunch of Between Friends and Zits... Well basically the whole point is to do something you might like doing but making sure it's not something which gives you even the slightest sense of achievement!

Zits Comic Strip

4. Take An Afternoon Nap-

After you've wallowed in sloth, you will feel your internal battery draining out completely. You'll feel sick of not doing anything useful. That's when you put the book, the laptop or whatever else aside and go right to sleep. Sleep is like the reset button. After you've slept for an hour or two you'll wake up wanting to be active!

5. Freshen Up -

The first thing you do after your nap is rush to the bathroom and have a quick shower. Using a soap which has a smell you like is a great way to lift your spirits.

(Daisy Wares on Etsy is one of my favorite Bath and Body Stores)

6. Appreciate and Reward Yourself Every Step Of The Way -

From this point on, feel good about each and every little thing you manage to do and reward yourself for it in little ways.

7. Nourishment -

Food is your first reward. You just had your shower, count it as one chore completed and have something you like - hot cocoa, a piece of chocolate, juice, fruits, a proper lunch... whatever.

8. Trick Yourself -

First tell yourself that whatever little bit you manage to finish is good for today. This takes the intimidation right out of the job. If you truly believe you're only going to do a little bit of work you are going to end up achieving a lot more!

9. Start Small And Keep Going-

It's not like that messy kitchen or pile of laundry will look any more attractive now than it did in the morning but by saying you will just wipe that counter top or only sort out the whites from the colors, makes the immediate task a very small job. And once you finish that small bit, tell yourself that you're going to do just a wee bit more and so on. Break down the chores like this and handle them one after another (or even mix and match if you like) in bits and pieces. You'll end up building momentum and before you know it what seemed to be this huge task has been finished in barely any time.

10. Cherish Every Moment-

Paying full attention to what you're doing and finding the peace in your work is a beautiful thing. Consciously find the love in what you're doing at that moment. Feel the cool water flowing over your hands as you wash the dishes or the nice stretch in your muscles as you hang up the clothes to dry. You actually end up having fun, enjoying the work and loving yourself in the process. And most importantly you'll be left with a GREAT SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT!!

By the end of it all you'll be wondering why you were putting off doing the chores in the first place :)


These things have worked for me with a high rate of success repeatedly. And if you're anything like me it's highly likely to work for you. I'd love to hear any personal experiences and tips you'd like to share. Feel free to leave as many comments as you like. And if you're feeling particularly eloquent, consider creating a related blog post of your own and do leave a link here for us to read. When it comes to getting those darned chores done, no piece of advice, however big or small, should be dismissed. You never know what might do the trick! :)

love and light,
Susmitha :)


  1. You are awesome! That is exactly what I try to do also. It really does help!
    Thanks for sharing, I'm off to clean my house right now as a matter of fact :)

  2. Oh! I would also say to put on your favorite music while tackling things you don't like to do - then you at least have a little pick-me-up to brighten the unwanted task :)

  3. Nice blog Sus! I enjoyed reading your philosophy on this topic.
    As you know, yesterday I embraced my inner Sloth... and nope, didn't even take a shower! (I took one today though to start off in the "right" mindset, and we had company this morning.)

    One thing that Sophie and I do is take breaks from our activities of procrastination by saying "ok, I'll put away (or tidy up) 5 things" ready, set, go... then we will reward ourselves with lunch or a snack or whatever... After several of those 5 things breaks, we just had a bit more to do to finish up and it was all done!

  4. Meghann the music is a great idea! :) I'll remember to do it next time.

  5. Pips thanks so much for sharing your experience! :)

  6. I think I'm a Sloth! Didn't start out that way, but I've ended up that way! I just leave it until my husband does it. Why not, he's a Sloth too! It's part of his Slouthfulness that makes the house a mess!

    I usually will have had enough when I can write myself notes on the furniture. Then I clean up the house. :-)

    Thanks Sus for sharing.


  7. You have a wonderful writing skill! Thanks so much for this post! I love cleaning my house. It's mindless and makes me feel so good when it's done. But right now I am avoiding my kitchen! Ha! We've just remodeled and now I have the chore of putting everything back. This is not a chore I'm looking forward to. So I'm procrastinating on your blog! LOL! Your advice is good and I will take it to heart while I try to get my kitchen back in order!

    Thanks again! I enjoyed this post!

  8. Donna, as long as Mr. Sloth takes over that cleaning then you have nothing to worry about! Just relax an be Mrs. Sloth! :D hehe

    Thanks Cindy. I know what you mean about the cleaning being a mindless task. It leaves me feeling tired in a nice way. Hope you get to have your kitchen back in order soon :)

  9. Awesome post! One of those which I should print and hang on my wall :-).

  10. Swati my style of writing is so long winded that this'll probably take up the whole length of the wall hehe

  11. Love it! I've always played mind games and tricks on my brain to get myself, but I've never been able to explain it so well. Awesome!

  12. i do the five chores and reward yourself! but i end up doing the easiest first. by the time i ever get to the longer ones, i change to full sloth mode :)

    i do say that that's what i have been doing this summer. :)