Reader Q&A: How Do I Make Chores Enjoyable?

woman in gray dress standing on brown wooden floor

Q: I like the idea that we should do things that watch out for our future selves, but in a way that’s enjoyable today. How can I put into practice the idea of being preinclined for things that are legitimately boring, like chores? I don’t find anything enjoyable about folding laundry or doing dishes.


A: It’s a great question! Some things will never be fun (root canals), but we find that small changes can make basic chores and other activities that we might normally dread more enjoyable. For example, maybe you can find a fun music playlist or audio book to tune into when folding laundry (David Sedaris’s audio books are delightful and hilarious). Or maybe you can find a dish soap whose scent you enjoy and that makes washing dishes more enjoyable, or a nice hand cream that you can look forward to applying afterward as a little celebration for having washed the dishes.

Another thing that we’ve found helps is to do the chores mindfully — meaning you actually pay close attention to each action and sensation as you are, let’s say, washing the dishes. You may actually start to find the process fascinating if you do this, since you start noticing things you usually miss (like how the soap suds or that your dishes may be slightly chipped… ha!).

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