Transforming Tedious Tasks



Taxes, darning, cleaning house. Don’t these words just light you up?!

If not, I invite you to dream a little. Imagine what could transform normally unpleasant tasks into less painful and possibly even fun events.

Consider collaboration. I’ve found that collaboration can transform mundane tasks into social events. Lately I’ve been developing new ways to use collaboration -- and companionship -- to ease into tasks I usually avoid.

It started with mending. Last spring, I invited neighbors to “Mend with Friends":

Got mending?

Got craft projects?

Let’s do them together!

I have a sewing machine, scissors, thread, and remnants.

Bring your projects, tools, supplies.

Bring your questions and quandaries — we’ll figure it out together!

How fun! My sewing projects got done, my partner learned to darn and we all got to admire each other’s handiwork. Watercolor thank-you cards, needlepoint, knitting, beading. It also seemed that having our hands and eyes engaged in projects made connecting easier, socializing more relaxed, conversations deeper.

Later that year, my new friend, money coach Laura Gates-Lupton, shared her experience of creating a Content Writers’ Creation Circle. It’s for entrepreneurs who want to generate consistent content for their businesses and who benefit from the accountability, camaraderie and support that writing in a circle with other professionals could provide.

Applying her idea to my organizing and coaching services, I offered a Zoom Motivation Circle to my clients. The idea was to create a space to work on projects together -- in our own homes. These projects required more attention than the crafting did, so we employed the tools of accountability and companionship without the socializing.

One participant described it this way: Right now, what I need the most help with is getting started and staying with it (not giving in to “it's too hard” or "I'm too tired"), so it has been working really well for me. Mostly I'm working on stuff that we have already organized, but I haven't properly maintained, and I'm putting things back in the right places... without the commitment made ahead of time and the company, I wouldn't be working on it. As much as I think I should be able to work on it on my own, I also acknowledge that I don't.

Inspired by the success of this group, I offered a Tax Prep Peer Support Circle (making it clear that I wasn’t offering tax advice or guidance). This too offered powerful and needed support: "Great session. The journey to get three years of taxes done has begun in earnest and it's a wonderful feeling. Also I pared down a daunting pile of mail …that has been like Cerberus on my tail for nearly two plus years."

Two of the participants had already completed their taxes. They used the time to address other paper pile projects. Notebooks got organized; office supplies got sorted and put away. Everyone got stuff done.

We know that accountability and companionship work for getting ourselves to exercise and improve our diet. Why not use the same energy to make movement on tasks we just don’t get around to on our own?!

Let me know what you come up with. I’d love to hear your ideas!

P.S. My next Motivation Circles take place:

  • Saturday May 25, 11am-12:30pm EST
  • Sunday June 2, 11am-12:30pm EST
  • Sunday June 9, 11am-12:30pm EST

Sign up here -- but if other dates work better for you, please email me!


broken image