Spring is in the air. April Fool’s Day is in the cross hairs now, and that means two things.
First, we want to DO things! We want to spring clean the house, and clean up the garden for planting, and exercise more because we can get outside more. Or at least that’s MY list!
Second, we want to have some fun doing it, too! The renewal, hope, and optimism of spring can certainly get tarnished quickly if we make a long list of things we want to do and then look at the three hundred and eighty-three things we came up with!
The answer is to sprinkle a little fun into all the things we want to, have to, or should do at home and at work.
I’m not going to lie, certain chores around the house are boring no matter how you look at them. Others, however, can actually be fun. With some creative thinking, you can enjoy yourself while you're being productive. Just keep an open mind as you search for creative ideas.
Here are nine ways to have fun being productive at home:
1. Listen to music. If you put on some of your favorite tunes, you might find that the job becomes much more enjoyable. This works especially well for the types of tasks that don't involve much thinking, like washing dishes, doing laundry, or cleaning. You can concentrate on the music while you work. I got you covered on this one! Here’s a link to The Ultimate Cleaning Playlist on Spotify. This list of 38 songs covers many decades and genres and every song is guaranteed to get you movin’ through that chore list effortlessly.
2. Organize your memories. Looking for a productive way to spend a rainy day? Take some time to organize your memories. Arrange photos in an album (digital or actual). Start a scrapbook, again, digitally or in real life.
What can make this one fun is getting your hubby or kids involved and reminiscing about the good old days while you work. Odds are good that they will have different memories of those same occasions and you will relive the whole experience with different eyes.
I’m still fascinated about what my kids remember about our trip to Disney World when they were 5 and 7!
3. Work with friends. Gather family members and friends to help you out. You'll find that it's difficult to be bored when there are people around to talk to. Reward yourselves with a pizza party after the job is done.
There were a couple of years where my husband and I exchanged work weekends with another couple. We’d descend upon their house on Friday evening after work, plan the work to be done and then get to work the next morning. We did all sorts of things from stripping wallpaper to planting trees. And then they would come to our house and return the favor. It was so much more fun with friends and we got a tremendous amount of work done! Can’t recommend this one enough!
4. Give yourself a break. Every now and then, it's important to give yourself a break. Frequent small breaks can actually increase your productivity. Your concentration on the task at hand will increase because you can defer distractions until the upcoming break time.
I’m not talking about every 10 minutes, here, but from the top of the hour until quarter ‘til the next, you put the work in, and then take 15 minutes to do whatever. And if that whatever is to shoot your kids with a squirt gun, there’s no judging going on here!
5. Make it a game. Think about the task at hand. How can you make it into a game? Maybe you can try to see how productive you can be in a certain amount of time. Enlist the help of others and create a good-natured competition. They key here is good-natured. There are some souls out there who are motivated by a little friendly competition! Create the right game and before you know it, the task will be complete!
I try to sneak in quick home chores in between sessions of working from home. It’s kind of a game to me (am I weird?). My watch buzzes me if I’ve been inactive for too long, in its humble opinion. When it buzzes, I’ll get up and do one thing in the house. This morning, it was cleaning a light fixture that had some dead bugs trapped in it. Yesterday it was getting a ladder out and checking a gutter for blockage. We build these things up to be “big deals”, but they only take a few minutes. My watch is happy I moved, I’m happy to get a tiny thing checked off the list, and my house gets those little nagging chores done.
6. Try gardening. Gardening is a wonderful way to stay active while enjoying the outdoors. You can also take pride in choosing what to plant, tending your garden, and watching it grow. A garden enhances the beauty of your home and may even increase its value.
You can start small, if you’ve never been into gardening before. Try a potted plant or two on your front porch or back deck/patio. Easy to water when it’s just outside the door, and little weeding is usually needed.
I actually make a game of weeding my garden beds by timing how long it takes me to fill a bucket with weeds. Then I try to beat that time, the next time I do some weeding. It’s a little thing, but it keeps the weeding interesting.
7. Sell items you don't need. You can eliminate clutter from your home by selling items you don't need. You can sell your stuff on the internet using sites like eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. You'll love the feeling of freedom that comes with the extra space in the house, and you may even pick up a few extra bucks in the process.
You may remember that one of my goals this year is to go through the storage areas of my house and get rid of things we don’t need. I’ve been selling some of those items and I’ve netted over $700 this year. And I feel better knowing that someone is using an item, rather than me just sending it to a landfill.
With the right mindset, you can make most tasks enjoyable. Ask yourself how to make your boring tasks more fun, and you'll never look at your household tasks the same again.
Leaving you with this from the lighter side: Someone sent me an email about using Vodka for cleaning around the house. IT WORKED! The more vodka I drank, the cleaner my house looked!