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How to Make Your Task List More Fun

So often we parents face a long list of boring daily tasks.

This is not good for our happiness!  This week transform your task list so that you enjoy life a little bit more.

  • Want more family time? Prep meals with the kids while hearing about their day.
  • Hate scrubbing the bathtub? Download some free podcasts or a good audio novel and clean while listening.
  • Don’t want to weed the garden? Use those weeds as an excuse to create a new playlist, and then feel your mood lift as you crank some good tunes.

I look forward to folding laundry because I let myself watch entire seasons of old TV shows!

Join the discussion: What boring task can you transform this week? Share in the comments below and inspire others.


  1. Nicole says:

    Congrats on the award!  It is well deserved 🙂

    It is funny how much more joy I get when I let my kids help me with the laundry, the dishes and cooking (the chores they ask to help with).  They even like taking out the garbage because I let them wear rubber gloves (not very environmentally  friendly I know but they love it).  We love to listen to show tunes when we do the chores.  My issue is the chores take so long when they help I find it hard to manage as a working mom how to get them to help and get them to bed on time. I also have trouble because I  can’t have all 3 kids help at the same time so they start arguing. 

  2. MartyG says:

    Music definitely works for me.  I’m always dancing around the house as I clean, iron, cook, whatever. My commute is relatively long and can be stressful, but books on tape is the way to go. Chores do not have to be drudgery!

  3. thaispice says:

    Can anyone offer tips on how to make music practice fun?  My 5-year old daughter plays the violin and it’s a daily struggle.

    • Diana says:

      If she doesn’t LOVE it, let it go.
      Ask her if she would like to try out a different instrument – drums, flute, guitar? Or, you might take her to a music store and let her listen to different genre of music – from classical (Peter and the Wolf) to world music, to electronic. She will hit on something that resonates with her and you could encourage her to choose one cd for herself – no matter what that choice. She could then play her chosen instrument along with her chosen cd.
      She’s 5 yrs old. Make it FUN.
      Also, why not learn to play the violin yourself if you love it. Then, one day, she may just pick up her violin and join in with you.
      There’s grace in honoring who we are; and making space for others (yes, our children) to explore who they are, and might become, through discovery.

      • thaispice says:

        I actually had to learn how to play myself, since that is a requirement of the Suzuki method.  I enjoy it greatly and always practice with her.  That helps a bit, but it’s the getting going that is the hardest part.  I find that once we start, it’s not usually so bad.

    • Sharonatlast says:

      Since she’s only five she’s probably looking at your ques to see how important/rewarding/fun you think it is to practice.  It could also be that you haven’t found the right teacher for her??  We went through several before landing one that understands my child and gives him practice work that is well balanced and age appropriate. 

      What’s worked for us is to split up our son’s lessons with the book work, etc. first and then join in the lesson and play the bongos (I can at least keep a beat) or my husband the guitar for the second half;  we often just “jam” at the end so we end on a fun note.  We try not to control his lessons too much and say something like, “When your ready to show me what you’ve practiced, I’ll come and look (usually I’m not too far away)  :)”  Not sure if any of this will help, but it’s some of what we’ve done to try and make sure our son’s spark/love of music stays lit.

  4. Karen says:

    My 10 year old son figured this out for himself.  When he has to do arithmetic homework problems that he doesn’t enjoy (i.e. three-digit multiplication, long division — he knows how to do them, just finds them boring), he appeals to me to turn them into “solve the secret code” pretend games.  He makes up a context (i.e. we’re going to rescue the tigers from the smugglers, we just need to solve the secret code that the map is written in to find them) — then eagerly finishes the problems, and keeps me apprised of his progress.  All I need to do is reflect back to him (“Wow, you’re halfway there — we’ll rescue those tigers in no time!”).
    Works every time.

  5. Adina says:

    When I have a big pile of laundry to fold, I place myself in front of our computer and download a show from hulu.com. I’m done before I know it and I’ve spent 20 minutes laughing. 

  6. Clcgroupmail says:

    We are packing and cleaning our garage for a remodel. I found some old cassette tapes made by friends. What a great way to pass the time with all those memories! If you don’t have something laying around, ask a friend to make you a playlist.

  7. Urbanmom says:

    My son is almost 3 and in a Montessori program a couple of days per week. I take one of the school days for myself to do appointments-dentist, doctor, hair, yoga, lunch with a friend, etc. The other school day I work like crazy to get (almost) all of my errands and laundry done so I can spend non school days with him doing fun activities, playing, and just relaxing together. We live in NYC so it’s easy to hit the cleaners, grocery store, post office, etc quickly in a few blocks walking distance. There are more child friendly cultural activities here than I could do in a lifetime. I am motivated to get the boring stuff out of the way so we can have our quality time without dividing my attention. I also believe in keeping life simple to avoid having to spend too much time on chores and errands. We don’t have a house to maintain, or a car or a garage to repair and clean, and Central Park is our yard. Our weekends belong to us!

  8. Jill says:

    I think this is particuly important for little kids. I have 2 kids under 4 and try and make things fun for them. We always pretend that we are trains, kangaroos or elephants when heading to clean teeth or do something they don’t like. When we are getting dressed we go “on a pyjama” hunt and sing a song along these lines.

    Is there a point where you can go overboard though. I find I rely on these tactics a lot and wonder if I should be teaching the kids that they have to do the chores just because I said rather than because mummy makes it fun.

    Cheers Jill

    • As with everything, balance. The key is not to cross-over into bossiness, or you’ll give kids something to resist. Fun (play) is excellent, but non-controlling language is everything. I’ve written a lot about this on my Greater Good blog (greatergoodparents.com) and the Winter online Raising Happiness Class deals with getting kids to do chores in detail. Not that it sounds like you need any help! 🙂

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