This week, I discuss the importance of mastering mundane, quotidian tasks.
Table Of Contents
- What Are Mundane Tasks?
- How Do You Master The Mundane Tasks?
- 1) Understand And List Your Mundane Tasks
- 2) Create Clear Actionables For Each Task
- 3) Always be grateful and focus on resolving other people’s pain
- Be Forever Grateful
What Are Mundane Tasks?
“People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Your life is mainly mundane moments or actions you engage in daily. Examples include:
- Greeting your spouse in the morning
- Washing the dishes
- Eating lunch
These daily tasks are either dreaded or forgotten.
You can compare mundane tasks to treasured extraordinary events such as your wedding. Yet, these events are few and far between and do not lay the foundation for a good life.
The small moments and repetitive tasks define your life. Mastery of mundane tasks means delivering your best self in each situation.
How Do You Master The Mundane Tasks?
Failure to master these quotidian tasks will not help you. For example, you greet your spouse daily when you come home from work. You could arrive in a grumpy mood, tired from the day. This will affect your spouse, leaving them feeling lost and rejected. You could come home bland and tired, setting a tone for a colorless, exhausted evening. Or, you can arrive grateful, energetic, and happy to see them. Of the three, which will improve the rest of your day and your relationship?
1) Understand And List Your Mundane Tasks
List out the mundane tasks you need to do. Understand the actions and what constitutes “success” or “failure” in these tasks.
Additionally, you need to comprehend the purposes of these tasks. What are the end goals? Why are you doing them? Do you do these tasks to maintain something? Are these tasks for work or play? For family or community?
For example, going to work on time is a daily obligation. You have to do this five days a week. “Failure” is arriving to work late, while “success” is arriving on time. You work on time to impress your boss and help your coworkers. Better performance at work means more money that you can use to support your family and buy what you need.
By listing and understanding your daily responsibilities, you can improve your routine.
2) Create Clear Actionables For Each Task
Once you list and understand what you do daily, you can create actionables.
Understand the goal. From there, see what is “successful” and either meet that benchmark or improve it. For example, you want a raise at work. Getting to work on time is the “success.” Now, if you arrived even earlier to work, would that help you get a raise? Then make sure you’re early.
Another example is washing dishes. The goal is to have clean dishes. You can measure success by how clean the dishes are and how fast you can wash them. To improve your “success” you may need to use the dishwasher.
You must seek courage, efficiency, and focus. Could being more focused today help you get through a task faster tomorrow? Could you be more efficient in cleaning instead of dragging your feet? Can being more engaged and joyous when greeting your spouse make your relationship more spontaneous and fun?
Understand what actionables you can take and what steps you need to improve the daily tasks you’ve outlined.
3) Always be grateful and focus on resolving other people’s pain
Have the mindset of your “get-to-do” list. The actionables you’ve outlined are your chance to improve things. Be grateful for the opportunity so you’re less likely to squander it.
Additionally, when you approach mundane tasks, seek to make others happier. When we focus on the suffering of others, we understand grief is universal. That universality reduces the sharpness of our pain. Furthermore, if you can resolve the pain of others, you gain confidence in your ability to fix your discomfort.
Lastly, see what these tasks do for the people in your life. How does washing the dishes make everyone’s life better? How does being more joyful in the morning set a better tone for the day? And so forth. This will help you see the good you are seeking to do.
The Importance of Mundane Tasks in Daily Life
“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” – Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
At the core of mastering mundane tasks is gratitude. Understand that these tasks are not burdens but opportunities. Opportunities to practice virtue, to master your weaknesses, to overcome your shortcomings.
The mundane tasks make up your day. You can excel at them or dread them. If you focus on optimizing and improving your actions, then everything else within your life will flourish.
Don’t neglect mundane tasks. Focus on improving as much as possible, and you will see immediate, positive results.
- What are some things you dread to do? What can you do to make these activities more lively and engaging?
- What do you hope to achieve with your life? Who do you hope to help?
- How can you be more efficient? What is taking you longer to do than you would like? How do you improve your speed on the chores you are responsible for?
- How can you be more engaged and lively with the people you know in your life? What can you do to show that you love them?
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.