At any given time, there’s at least one phone call to a utility company that I’m putting off. Whether it’s booking an appointment over the phone or ringing up Telstra to ask why the cost of my internet keeps rising, I dread these calls because I know they’re going to take forever.
There are also household chores that I avoid at all costs because they’re boring and I don’t want to do them. These include everything from scrubbing my bathtub, to cleaning my stovetop, to cleaning out my closet—the kinds of things that are really easy to keep putting off when you live alone and there’s no one around to judge you.
That’s why I’ve devised a system to kill two boring, time-sucking birds with one stone. First, I place the call, and when I’m inevitably put on hold, switch my phone over to speakerphone mode and get to work. The annoying hold music is the ideal soundtrack to a boring task like folding laundry, or cleaning out the refrigerator.
Then, I try to get as much done as possible while I’m waiting to speak to a representative in the order my call was received. Part of this involves tricking myself into thinking it’s some sort of (admittedly pretty boring) game, where the winner is me and the time I’ve saved.