We all have those responsibilities that we dread because they’re boring, repetitive and unfulfilling. You find yourself putting them off. Once you finally get around to doing one, you catch yourself thinking about how awful it is. You might complain about the how pointless it is, and that you wish it would just be over already. But what can you do? Even these boring tasks at work need to get done.
But what if there was something you could do? What if by changing some attitudes and habits, you could actually enjoy these boring tasks at work? Here’s some good news. It can be done!
Find Your Motivation
Whatever the chore is, there must be some reason you’re doing it. You have to complete those monotonous exercises in order to get in shape. Filling out that spreadsheet will ultimately help you be more productive at work. Making those repetitive phone calls will help make money for your favorite charity. Even if you really have to reach, find something this task will lead to that you can get excited about.
Think about how accomplished you’ll feel when you reach your larger goal. Every big success is a combination of many much smaller steps. Remembering how important the little, less exhilarating parts are can motivate you to push through them. Research shows that high achievers work hard because they want to be successful, rather than avoid failure, are most do. Focusing on the positives can help you stay motivated through the exciting and not-so-thrilling parts of your day, and the boring tasks at work.
Be in the Moment
This may seem to contradict the last point, but really paying attention to the work you’re doing, even if it’s uninteresting, can make it more enjoyable and help you do a better job of it. While thinking about your end goal can keep you motivated, it’s easy to become disheartened if that’s all you think about. The difficult, mindless tasks pale in comparison to your grand vision, but they’re a necessary part of the process.
If, while completing a boring task at work, you’re constantly thinking about how much you hate doing it or that you can’t wait for it to end, it’ll just feel like it’s taking longer.
Plus, you’ll be distracted and be less effective. A study from the University of Rochester found that doctors who participated in a mindfulness course were more perceptive and attentive to their patients, as well as less emotionally tired by their work. Being in the moment more can help you be a better worker and leader, because you’ll be more attuned to the feelings of the people you’re working with, as well as your own.
Use Your Time Wisely
If a task doesn’t require much thought to complete successfully, however, you might consider using the time to concentrate on something else. For example, listening to music you enjoy or an educational podcast can make your drive into work less stressful and more productive.
Recruiting a friend or family member to be your workout partner can keep you motivated, as well as provide some quality time with that person and a common goal to work towards, which will bring you closer together.
Treating boring tasks as a break from more mentally taxing work may help you enjoy them more too. Whether you’re listening to music, talking with a friend or just relaxing and trying to enjoy the work, you may even find you start to look forward to it.
The Exciting Side of Boring Tasks at Work
Not every moment of your life is going to make an enthralling story to tell at your next social gathering. As initially appealing as a life of constant excitement might seem, the boring stuff is necessary too. It provides us with much-needed breaks and is an integral part of the process of working towards more exhilarating goals.
With a few changes in the way you approach your dreariest work, though, you’ll find that the uninteresting stuff actually becomes enjoyable. You might even discover that the boring stuff is more exciting that you thought!