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I moved a few weeks ago, and it was quite the undertaking. Anyone who has ever moved (i.e. all of us), knows what a giant pain in-the-you-know-where it is. Seriously. Exhausting, time-consuming, expensive, and just plain annoying. I found unpacking for the second time in two years to be just as exciting as it was the other 6 or so times I’ve had to do it before that.

This time was different (I said that in my head like a dramatic voiceover for a movie trailer). I’m in a new city that I know nothing about. I’m pursuing new job avenues. I’m taking risks. I’m developing a closer relationship with my significant other. I’m learning to love more deeply.

Okay, yeah whatever. THIS ISN’T A MOVIE. Unpacking still sucked, no matter the context. I dreaded it. And to make matters worse: on top of the usual “I don’t want to freaking do this” malaise was a more significant, obstructing malise. Whether it be mental health or physical health, I was so lethargic and tired I could barely move. I would get up to unpack, stand for a few seconds, and sit back down. I dragged around. I had no energy. But this stuff wasn’t going to unpack itself.

So I used my little “piece by piece” method. I literally reward myself for doing any amount of work at all. As humans, we are all whores for dopamine–the pleasure neuron of the brain that rewards us for fun/exciting/pleasurable activity. So if we can trick ourselves into being rewarded for work, then we can motivate ourselves to do yucky, uncomfortable stuff, even without the attractive stress of a pressing deadline.

I looked at the daunting, giant box of bathroom stuff that was in my way for 3 days, felt no urge whatsoever to unpack it and find the mess that was inadvertently created at the bottom by hair products, and wanted to go back to bed. But using the piece by piece method, I literally unpacked the few items you see in the picture, and I got back in bed and played on my phone for another 15 minutes. It made me feel like I accomplished something, and it barely took me any time. I finished the box shortly thereafter.

I think. I can’t remember. There was a lot going on in Instagram-land and Tumblr-world.

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