Long back, when I read Bill Gates’ mention on dish wash, I ignored it with a smile, because who likes the idea of washing dishes to clear the mind before going to bed and improve productivity when there are more tricks to become better.
But then the Pandemic happened in 2020. The work from home begins. I was working in Bangalore and my family was in Kerala. So I had to relocate to Kerala. When we are at home, it’s our responsibility to share the household chores. I can’t help much during the daytime as I am busy with works and meetings. I am not good at cooking also. So we decided that I will wash the dishes and vessels every day after dinner. Sometimes life won’t give us any choice. Smile.
Nope, I am not comparing Billgates and my dishwashing because this task helped me in some other contexts.
1, Crushing the Ego
Men washing dishes is not a normal thing in Indian patriarchal middle-class families. That too is not just one dish (I used to do that for years.), but everyone’s… Being a vegetarian living with 3 hardcore non-vegetarians, it was tough in the beginning to clean those plates and vessels. I realised it’s my ego playing a role in that difficult thoughts. Slowly I learned to take things as it is. I approached every vessel as a dirty vessel. Dirt is dirt, no matter whether it’s veg or non-veg. I respect all the housewives and house helps who does this every single day.
2, Avoid prejudgement and Just do it
Sometimes we just need to do what has to be done (like taking the scrub and cleaning) and do the check, whether we like it or not. It will help us to improve our mindset to do things without pre-judgments. In our day to day work life, there may be plenty of things we have to do like this. There are no perfect days (career) where we do only what we love every day. So smile and just do it with your whole heart.
3, Boring time to precious time
This is a lonely task compared to other household things like cooking. So I started listening to podcasts from Spotify related to Product Management, Product Life Cycle and copywriting. It helped me in the Product Strategy course which I was doing at IIM Calicut. So the Dishwash time was converted into Podcast time.
The process reminded me every single day that how fortunate I am. I have a place to stay and food to eat. Many people don’t have that too. Think about it. Most of our unwanted complaints about life will fly away. Be grateful for what we have and what we don’t have.
5, Let’s clear our heads and be present
I am not glorifying the dishwashing or asking you to start washing the dishes. The point is, there is always an opportunity to convert any moment into a positive life experience. Don’t compare our experiences with others and don’t generalise them. What we just need to do is clear our heads, from our old and general experiences which our mind and brain have stored, and add our positive fresh thoughts which will help us to move forward.
Wish you a happy new year.
Spread the lights and positive vibes.