How long does it really take to do those jobs, chores and tasks we like the very least? I’ve learned for myself that they often seem to take much longer than they really do, and recently I was able to help my daughter try this out for herself.

Joy, my 9-year-old, really dislikes helping with the dinner dishes. When it’s her turn for loading the dishwasher, she is typically distracted, pokes along, and procrastinates. I really do get it – I sometimes do the same thing about tasks that I dislike!

Time the tasks you like the least. How long does it really take?

Last week, there were several things she needed to accomplish (including loading the dishwasher) in a small window of time. I don’t recall exactly what she had asked to do… Watch a TV show? Eat ice cream? Whatever it was, she needed to complete her responsibilities in 15 minutes in order to have time for the goodies she wanted. We set the timer, and she was astonished to see that when she focused it only took three minutes to load the dishwasher. Three minutes!

She was pretty excited to find out it can be done so quickly, and it’s really helped her focus on getting the job done and out of the way. No more dilly-dallying at dish time! It was a good lesson for her and a good reminder for me. When we time our most pesky to-dos, it’s surprising to find how quickly we really can check off those annoying tasks!

What tasks do you dread doing? Next time you’re faced with one of them, pull out a timer and see how long it really takes. You just might surprise yourself, and be more motivated to tackle the task the next time it finds it’s way on your to-do list!

Happy organizing!