Dealing with hateful ‘things to do’.

No matter what we do in life, we still have to swallow some bitter pills. So, this blog post is about how to do it as smoothly, quickly and efficiently as possible. So, what is the ‘bitter pill’? It is anything that you HATE to do! No matter how much you hate it, you still have to do it, because it is important.

So, what do you do? When the bitter pill is in the mouth, we make a big noise, and say how awful it is tasting. Actually, in this way we are only prolonging the bad taste!  Instead, we should quickly take that sip and swallow it down! ASAP.

Exactly!. We leave it, avoid it and take even longer to do it!

Why not attack it, and get it over and done with as soon as possible?

My strategies:

  1. Music: put on music while you do the work, it removes the drudgery from it. (The music should be having an active beat. I love Mahmut Orhan here.
  2. Reward or motivate: plan to gift yourself with something, you wouldn’t normally get. (AFTER IT IS DONE.) Make a plan with friends, so they too push you to finish it first.
  3. Visualize: create beautiful visions of how it would be when it is done; For instance, when there is repair work getting done in the house, you keep visualizing how it will look when it is done. When it is visa application, keep visualizing your trip.
  4. Renaming: I hate the bills that arrive in the house. So, now I call them ‘khushkhabri’ meaning ‘good news’. So, we all have a good laugh while receiving bills. After all, you are one of the lucky ones on this planet with electricity and gas in your house, so naturally, you get to use it, and get bills to pay. These days, I’ve got horrific amount of forms to fill for my mother. I’ve got a phobia of it. So, why not rename these forms, and call them ‘Relief 1 pension,’ ‘then Relief 2, and so on. (Yes, I’m writing this blog post for myself!)
  5. Realizing what you are doing: Catch yourself as you are running away from the work. When I’m inviting friends over, or planning a trip somewhere, actually, I’m running away. I’ve just realized, that I’ll do anything rather than to face these ugly forms to fill. I HATE them.
  6. Break it into do-able parts: Yes, make small goals. Take baby-steps to the main achievement. How’s that? So, make very small goals for the day, then I’ll feel more thrilled for having done it.
  7. Check working habits: Also, the work isn’t getting done because I’m doing it at a time when I’m also checking the phone or answering calls (phone is a deadly work crasher). Close everything which is distracting to get a ‘flow’ in the work. Also, tell staff to guard your time. Do not make appointments with people or programs around your work.
  8. Check work timings: All my life, I wrote at night. It has been my favorite time. Frankly the output is far better at night. So, anyhow, do try to find the best time to do the work which ‘works’ for you! Long ago, I interviewed Hugh Catchpole, and he said, ‘I check the student’s copies at 4.00 am. So I start my day getting this work out of the way.’ He was a great educationist, and 89 years old when I interviewed him. The English teacher worked at Abbottabad Public School.

Believe me, I’m sharing my own problem with you. I’m sure you have it too. I’ve just realized, I love doing things for others, because it also diverts me from my own (hateful) work. But then, I have to get back to my work too. Anyhow, I return with spirits raised and feeling so exuberant. Just need to focus and get it over and done with!

While going about the work, do stop to smell the amazing magnolias blooming these days.   Notice the jacaranda  trees in their full glory, near your area . These give us an idea how focused nature is. No matter how many storms happen, how much rain, they still bloom. In the same way, our work must get done, no matter what! Then we can sit back and enjoy watching it all happen. 🙂

Hey, I’d love you to share your tricks with me. It may help me. This blog post is already helping me. Thank you my amazing reader. Stay blessed.





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  1. Samina Naveed Khan says:

    Always very refreshing to read
    I also have a phobia of filling the forms and when I need to fill them I try to do it as quickly as possible

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      I’m glad you could relate! (Naturally, widowhood, has shown you those mounds of files too!) Being the methodical person you are, I’m sure you deal with it very well. I just run away from it, and then it remains there. When I open the file, and look at the horrendous requirements, it makes me run faster! But now I’m going to tackle it fast. Insha Allah! Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  2. Shireen maybe what’s hateful to you isn’t hateful to others. All I am suggesting you can ask help.
    I have a bad habit of doing things myself. I don’t assign tasking others.
    My husband says instead of doing smart work you do donkey work.
    I wish I could offer you my help.
    But I am busy with pick n drop of my son to his CIEs exams venues taking care of my mother in law nd naqsh wedding preparation.
    But there might be a person who would not hate doing it.
    Just a suggestion. ?
    Loads of love and regards your way

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      Dearest Kiren, I always look out for your comments as these have their own insight. Yes, we do need to do smart work. Delegation is a good idea, but somethings have to be done by one’s self. Also, how much can you ask? The paper work after death is horrendous for the grieving families.

      Wishing you all the success in all that you are doing. Actually, how would we manage without all these ‘issues’? I’ve learnt a lot of things through these issues.Every problem brings a solution with it. One just has to hold on. That’s all.
      Loved your suggestions. Love and hugs.

      1. Allah aap Kay liye asania farmaye. Ameen

      2. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

        Ameen. Wishing the same for you. Stay blessed! 🙂

  3. Inam Ellahi says:

    Respected Ma’am,

    Your this writes up is very good. So much to learn. What about dealing with hateful things in professional life? Like I used to work in the banking sector and there I noticed there was customer discrimination. Those who have a good amount in their account are treated quickly with respect rather than those who have less amount in their account. I always hated that thing but still, I was bound to do that. There are so many examples like that I can share. We learn about ethics and mannerism in our universities but after joining the professional life we donot follow them.

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      Dear Inam Illahi,
      You have raised a very sensitive issue. Almost twenty-five years in the working life, I’ve got a lot to share in that way too. Another topic for me to write on. Insha Allah at a later time. (Do, remind me if I don’t!) So, in fact, wherever we are, we always have to deal with at least a few hateful stuff. The quicker we do it and in the smoothest way, would be better. One big tip is to stick to your own work. Do what you can. You could have given as much respect also to the ‘poorer’ customers too! We all can find ways to do our own bit within the constraints of the job. Anyhow, another huge topic. Thank you so much for your comment. Stay blessed. 🙂

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