Playfulness embodied my son. He much preferred to play than work. And had all sorts of ideas on how to get out of work. But, he discovered he could actually work hard if he brought a spirit of play to it. From cracking jokes while painting, to doing silly things while helping clean up, to using accents. Just because it’s work that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.

Jon and Brea


Often we procrastinate because we know something won’t be enjoyable. Playfulness makes things lighter and feel less stressful.

In the Simplify Your Money Systems class last night we were talking about this very thing. Someone wanted to know how to discipline themselves to get the paperwork done. And I suggested a different route – fun! For many of us, trying to get into discipline brings out the inner rebel.

What is something you have been procrastinating on? How could you make it more fun?

  • Pay bills by candlelight, music and a fun hat.
  • Do dishes with the window open so you can see & hear the birds.
  • Dust to music that makes you want to move.
  • Sort papers on the floor in front of the TV.
  • Remembering that the work is optional and you get to choose it can help.
  • Do things in a new way.
  • Make your to do list fun to look at with graphics and things you look forward to on it.
  • Read the comics to get you into a better space before you do some work.
  • Concentrate on the process and make it enjoyable. When you concentrate on the outcome or the next tasks you start to feel constricted.
  • Trips to the grocery store can be scavenger hunts.
  • Bake cupcakes to take to what you know will probably be a boring meeting.
  • Hand out stickers.
  • Dress up.
  • Color as you try to sort a problem
  • Ask yourself “What’s the most fun way I could do this?
  • Write in color.
  • Wear a temporary tattoo.
  • Reward yourself after your task with Angry Birds.
  • Only do exercise you like.
  • Pretend to be French when you go to the grocery store.
  • Look at the J Peterman Catalog and read a little story of an outfit. How would that person do your task?

What will you do to make your next task more fun?


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  • Jemma Howell

    Hi Beth,

    Mmmm….I love this advice. Children have the innate ability to play, and I find that great music, a silly British accent, and dancing like a 49-going-on-20 year old makes tasks a lot more fun.

    Jon has become loved by many moms like me – every time I receive one of your emails, I send him love. My daughter’s on the other side, too, and I continue to appreciate that you’ve chosen to share your journey instead of compartmentalizing your life.

    Love to all who wish to simplify and improve their world – each ripple of a happier, more fulfilled person makes a better world for us all. If your work and home and family is a more simple, peaceful, organized space, then you may be the smile I need in the grocery store on a day that I’m feeling life’s stresses. Thanks all, Jem

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