Pigeon of Discontent: I Dread Errands.

Each week, I post a video about some Pigeon of Discontent raised by a reader. Because, as much as we try to find the Bluebird of Happiness, we’re also plagued by those small but pesky Pigeons of Discontent.

This week’s Pigeon of Discontent, suggested by a reader, is: “I dread errands.”


If you want to read more about this resolution, check out…

Quiz: Are you an under-buyer or an over-buyer?

Dreading a task? 5 tips for getting yourself to tackle it.

You can post your own Pigeon of Discontent at any time; also, from time to time, I’ll make a special call for suggestions.

You can check out the archives of videos here. It’s crazy–my YouTube channel has passed the mark for one million viewers!

Other posts you might be interested in . . .

  • My core problem is not wanting to waste the time too. I know you mentioned that. I feel I can be more productive at home. But I do get the errands done and I try to group them all on the same day to save time and gas.

    • Ruth

      One of my strategies for doing errands is the exact opposite of yours: I’ve decided to allow myself to not do them all at one time. I used to try to group them together (for gas-saving/environmental reasons), but then I found that I dreaded it even more because it was going to take so much time out of my day. If I can tell myself, “You just have to do this one errand,” instead of trying to do too many of them at once, then it doesn’t seem so bad. Also, I hate to shop, and I will find myself getting crankier and crankier the longer I have to do it, especially if I’m not finding what I need (I’m the kind of person who once said, “This is not worth my time,” out loud and walked out of the store), so it’s better for me to not do too much of it at once.

  • Tara Lee

    I have a similar problem with things on my to-do list – I keep putting items off for another day. I have recently begun trying something new that seems to be working. I look at the list and determine which item I dread THE MOST. And then, without giving myself any chance to make any excuses, I just go and do it. I am usually done with the task in much less time than I had imagined and I feel TONS better for getting something done. So now I had better go and clean the bathroom!

  • peninith1

    Because I am a big lover of making list and crossing things off the list for a sense of accomplishment, I love to put my errands on the list for the day and then draw a bright line through them with a highlighter.

    Though I confess I don’t truly know what that whole inertia thing is about . . . I have it too. Somehow I seem to feel as if the things on the errand list or the financial management list are ‘too hard’ and I still have to overcome a tendency to evade them because somehow I have a nagging suspicion that I’m incompetent. Given what I’ve done in my lifetime, this is strange nonsense.

    Yet it always pleases, relieves, and surprises me that I really AM capable of balancing my checkbook, filling a prescription, or mailing a package. Does it go back to being really young and shy of ‘meeting the public’ at the Post Office or Pharmacy, doing something for the first time, or completing a an assigned task without bungling? I wonder.

  • Rose

    I have to wait until I have speakers to listen to the video! But I was wondering how to access the “behind the scenes” writing… it links to your email. Should I email you for a copy? thanks!

  • Deb

    This is so me! I think you are my long lost twin 🙂 thanks for reinforcing tips that I need to put into practice more often!!

  • Anne

    I used to hate errands when I lived in LA. I moved to a small town when I retired, and I really enjoy them now. I know everyone on my rounds. It’s sort of like Sesame Street.

    Of course it also helps that I’m not adding them to a workday, or subtracting them from precious personal time.

  • Samantha Pfeiffer

    One of the ways that I’ve tried to make errands more palatable is to think about an activity/store/coffee shop/restaurant that is close by my errand that I don’t usually go to because it’s out of the way. Then I tell myself if I accomplish this errand I get the reward of my favorite coffee drink or sandwich or bootcamp class or whatever that I wouldn’t normally get to take advantage of.

  • lohrmann

    I enjoy accomplishing the big things and the smaller ones. I enjoy the small trips as they give me time to reflect on my day.

  • Elizabeth

    I saw a good friend this weekend and we commiserated over the dread of running errands and how some to-dos just feel permanent. Then she shared this story that inspired me and I thought the group might enjoy:

    “I had a picture frame with a tiny crack in it that I’ve been meaning to fix. But I kept putting it off because I didn’t know where to get it done, how much it would cost, all that. Then I just took it into the local hardware store. It took them 4 minutes. Cost me $2. AND the owner brought in his puppy so I got to play with it while I waited. I can’t believe I put that off.”