How to do the things you don’t want to do…(a list)

Despite mulling over that title for the past few days, I have been unable to come up with anything shorter-zingier-wittier-or better…so there it remains.

Something weird has been going on in my life since I got back from Christmas break. Blame it on January and its ‘force you back into routine’ antics if you must, but lately I’ve been doing a really good job at doing the things I don’t want to do.

I’m not naive enough to actually think there has been a core change in my personality as this little phase I’m going through has happened before.

Probably last January.

Something happens, and all of a sudden I am putting the dishes in the dishwasher the second I’m finished with them, unpacking the day I get back home from a trip, and putting my clothes away the moment they come off.

This time around, we’ve added knocking out lesson plans and starting study-guide/worksheet/test/quiz creation at 7pm instead of 10pm to the mix.

Oh, and also…no naps. (except for that killer one yesterday…which was on a Friday and totally earned)

Knowing this is a phase that will probably come crashing to a fiery end during a week where naps are squeezed in in place of productivity, the pull-out stays out for just a moment too long (that turns into a week) and becomes my dumping ground, and the dishes begin singing at me again


(exhibit A)

I’ve come up with a “fool-proof” list (yay lists!) to remind myself how to do the things I don’t want to do.  And to help you too of course!

1. Light a candle.

photo 1-2

Maybe a little random, but I find that it works for me. I have a candle on my desk right next to my computer and I find that whenever I am dragging my feet towards creating yet another study-guide or trying to format a 50-word vocab quiz onto one page, lighting the candle kind of ‘sets the mood.’ Sure I have to sit here and have Microsoft Word red-squiggle line all of my Spanish/English words for the next 2-hours but at least I have ambiance and something sweet to smell. I also like to tell myself that once the apartment is picked-up I can light a candle. Because what’s a sweet smelling apartment if it’s a wreck?

2. Put on mindless TV.

This is a tricky one and probably doesn’t work for everyone but I’m somewhat like a five-year old when it comes to doing things I don’t want to do. Meaning that if I can’t have the TV or music on, I feel like I’m being punished for something. (I also feel this way if I get into bed before 11:30pm but that’s another blog post) If I have mounds of clothes to put away or lesson-plans to get through, I like to put on re-runs of New Girl a work away.


(After unloading my car when I got back from Christmas break)

3. Put on music that is impossible not to dance to.

This one is the alternative when mindless TV is just too distracting or you have to be in a room without the TV…for me that means the kitchen or bathroom. (i.e. cleaning the dishes or the toilet)

4. Keep the apartment tidy.

Will I ever learn? I am so much more productive when straightening the apartment only takes 10 min instead of 2-hours. When the task isn’t so daunting, and I do a little bit at a time, it allows for a lot more time to get other things done. This is a no brainer, but somehow hasn’t made it’s way into being a instinctual behavior for me just yet. When I clear out the three dishes in the sink instead of piling more on top of them, I feel SO MUCH BETTER and have so much more energy/motivation to tackle other things. Like cooking.

5. Set a timer.

Letting myself know from the beginning that I am only going to work on something for a specific amount of time before taking a break or moving on to something else is a great way to get me to vacuum, swiffer, put clothes away, do the dishes, etc. Like I said, I am a five-year old.

6. Always have microwavable popcorn on hand. Always.

photo 2-2

(and when you’re out, leave yourself little notes like this)

Ok, this one is a little specific towards me, but on a Sunday night when I have week preparations to finish up, the promise of popcorn and a movie after I’m done is a very successful motivator. And you wouldn’t believe how the sound/smell of it popping in the background while I choose which Harry Potter to watch relaxes me. Or maybe you would, because I’m that predictable.

7. Take a bubble bath.

Again, pretty specific towards myself and probably not for everyone, but sometimes when I get back home and know that I still have work to do to prepare for the next day, I like to tell myself that I can take a bubble-bath first to relax before starting in on whatever it is looming over my head. This works for me because I am a night owl and taking a bath doesn’t relax me to the point where I am ready to go to bed immediately after. It also works for me because whereas relaxing/unwinding on the couch with Netflix is seemingly infinite, a bubble-bath only last as long as the water is warm. So there’s a cutting off point you see.

And last but certainly not least…perhaps the most fool-proof way to do things you don’t want to do is…

8. Invite company over. AMIRITE?

My mom and sister are on their way down for a little visit, and I’m sure they will enjoy the fact that I vacuumed and did the dishes. Right mom?

Is this list as “fool-proof” for you as it is for me? Do you want to take bets on how long this “clean-as-you-go-no-naps phase will last? It’s been almost a month now!

You know I like it when you comment…





3 thoughts on “How to do the things you don’t want to do…(a list)

  1. Mary Emily! This made me chuckle a Few times, and I wanted you to know that I took the time to read it. Much love sent your way!!!!!! -Zach

  2. Pingback: What do you want to do? | mel and la vida bella

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