It isn’t only during multiplication that you can take two negatives and get a positive out of it. You can also do this with undesirable tasks. You know, the kind that keep getting pushed off and forgoten about. Sadly, I keep lists of things that need to get done, so momentarily forgetting about items doesn’t mean they get to be completely forgotten about. Here are some negative combinations I’ve found positively helpful. I hope they will inspire you to combine some of your own negatives into something more positive.
Negative: Grocery shopping. First you have to drive through traffic filled with idiots, then you have to navigate through a store where people park their carts in the dead center of the isle and older adults brutally push your cart out of the way with theirs, no matter where you put it. (On the more positive days, grandpa likes to get flirty and tell me about his heart troubles.)
Negative: Exercising. Growing up, there was nothing I’d rather do than play outside or jog around the pond thirty laps, just because. Now, getting me off the computer and outside to blow the stink off can be a challenge. There are always responsibilities that take a priority over exercise, despite that exercise and eating properly should be my top priority.
Combined Negatives: Walk to the grocery store to pick up small items. The two miles I spend walking there and back is great exercise and I don’t buy enough to need a cart, so shopping is more enjoyable only having to navigate myself and the hand basket. I wish I could tell you I enjoy this combination, because I save gas, but the truth is, I have no idea why I *love* walking to the grocery store!
Negative: Homework. While cell biology and nutrition 101 lectures are indeed very interesting, reviewing notes, writing reports and focusing long enough to study, drive me nuts.
Negative: House cleaning. You name the task, fill the dishwasher, empty the dishwasher, clean the kitchen counter, wash the laundry, fold the laundry, sweep, mop, vaccuume, toilets! Why can’t houses clean themselves?
Combined Negatives: Find articles to use as references for the report, empty the dishwasher and make a cup of coffee while you’re up, review the reference articles and create a very rough outline for the report, fill the dishwasher, start filling in the report taking cleaning breaks when your mind needs a break. Cleaning is physical and studying is mental. Swapping back and forth between the two improves my focus and productivity by giving me the mental and physical breaks as needed. For some people, swapping between subject matters will also helps to cram more in. If these techniques don’t work for you, force a positive and take a 30 minute gaming break or something else that you love.