My Five Favorite Ways to Whistle While I Work

I do my own taxes each year.  Not my favorite project, but for now, something I choose to do.  Having recently completed them, I’m reminded of the many things I do to make difficult jobs a little better.  With a humble nod to Walt Disney, here are a few of my favorite ways to whistle while I work.

1.  Play Music.  This one is great and very flexible.  It works if I’m sitting at my desk, cleaning my house or driving in rush hour traffic. Yep – music played while I worked on the taxes!  Upbeat, dancing music.  Soothing, soft music.  Broadway tunes.  Soundtracks from my favorite movies.  They all work and they each create their own unique alchemy.

2.  Go Outside.  Well, I didn’t use this one with the taxes, but it works like magic with exercise!  Getting on a treadmill feels like torture to me, but I can walk in the forest happily all day.  Cell phones and laptops have made it easier to find ways to move my work into the sunshine. When I can’t get outside, an open window and fresh air is an awesome alternative.

3.  Bring a Friend.  While I love the outdoors, the post-winter yard cleaning is arduous.  By sharing the job with my husband, we cut the work in half and have a great companion in the process.  This one works well for medical tests or any event that’s a little scary alone.  It’s also great to apply to projects that require a variety of skills.  Team up with people who are really good at tasks you abhor and you’ve got a recipe for success.

4.  Wear Your Favorite Clothes.  This was a little trick I used to use when giving a presentation to an unfriendly crowd.  It was sort of like the non-human version of taking a friend along.  I’ve found that when my body feels comfortable, my mind can be a bit more at ease.  Like others on the list, this one delights the senses. I like to choose clothes in my favorite colors that feel soft on my skin, warm when it’s cold outside or light in the summer.  If it’s your thing, try adding a favorite perfume and jewelry you love.

5.  Give Yourself a Gift.  It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, but anticipating a little reward when I’m done with a tough job adds some fun to the mix.  After cleaning the house, a few minutes in the hammock is pure luxury.  A small vase of flowers on the desk while I worked on the taxes and a nice dinner out at the end of the project were a couple I used recently.  Last summer I spent a day in the jury pool for a particularly violent crime.  As I drove to the courthouse that morning a part of me wanted to throw a tantrum.  When the day was over (and I was luckily not chosen for the jury) I went to the bookstore and got the Eckhart Tolle book I’d been craving.

These are just a few ways to make those challenging projects a little better.  There are countless more and a wide range of variations on my five favorites above.  Try them out, mix them, combine them, create your own.  And remember to use them with the great stuff too.  It makes the wonderful, magnificent!

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