If you do what you have to do first, you can both relax and enjoy your leisure time more often, and to a greater degree. Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net
Each of us is (sometimes painfully) aware of the different emotions that accompany “things that we have to do” and “things that we want to do”. Things that we “have” to do are often felt to be a burden, there is a sense of it being a chore or a task – and there is often no pleasant emotion that goes along with it!
However, it needn’t even be said that things that we want to do will naturally lead to feelings of excitement and interest of varying intensity.
It is also natural that, if it wasn’t for responsibility or obligation, we would do the ‘want to dos’ before the have-to-dos, and would ideally skip the latter altogether!
I know that, when I am designating myself my ‘to-do’ list for the day, there are both the obligations and the pleasurable activities there. I must admit that I often have to restrain myself from plunging into the latter activities first. For example, I will often find myself watching that television show I want to see before doing some assigned work whether it be for a job, or housework.
However, I was reflecting upon reasons that make it easier to do what I should do before I do what I’d like to do, first. When I consider these rationalisations, it’s easier to ‘be good’ because it means that I enjoy my ‘pleasure time’ more.
Here are some reasons which may make it easier to do the ‘have-tos’ when you find yourself succumbing to temptation.
1. Simply, when you’ve done what you need to first, I find you just are able to enjoy your leisure time more. When you have guilt hanging over your head, it kind of is in the back of your mind, which even unconsciously can take some pleasure out of it.
2. You can relax more when you are indulging in your ‘rewarding’ activities, whether it be a catch up with a friend, or reading your favourite book. This is because with the day’s obligations out of the way, you know how much time you have on your hands. You also know that you have been responsible and attended to your duties so mentally you feel more ‘at ease’.
3. It’s healthy to have some degree of self-discipline. Yes, there are times where it’s okay to leave the mess to the ‘housework fairies’ but being able to tame the whimsical child within is necessary for achievement and being able to say you have a healthy sense of self-control.
4. When you do ‘the have-to’ list first, this is usually in the morning, when your concentration is better. It is probably better to use this for your work, then your leisure, when focus isn’t probably necessary!
5. You are going to be more in-sync with the work-and-leisure schedules of your friends and colleagues. They, too, exist in the adult world of responsibility and they are probably going to be facebooking at the end of the day rather than at work (though this probably happens too!) so you will probably get to chat more to your friends, at the right time!
6. Stops you from getting into trouble! This ones obvious, but if we constantly did what we wanted to do first, things will catch up on us, so there is less worry of this happening!
7. It helps you manage your time better. If you rush through what you need to do after you have mucked around with what you want to do, it is hard to adjust how much time you need for each task.
Of course, we all need to have those times too where we get to plan – only what we want to do!
And that’s why we need to arrange for ourselves to have a holiday now and then, or time off work!
So, doing what you have to do before doing what you want to do, won’t cut down how much fun and relaxation time you have, it’ll just enable you to enjoy it better!