How to Stop Stressing About Boring Tasks and Learn to Enjoy Them
Mundane and boring tasks are nearly unavoidable in the modern workplace. Tasks like organizing your inbox, entering data into Excel, filling out paperwork, and sending the same email to hundreds of clients can be time-consuming, repetitive, and lacking in any satisfaction or enjoyment. However, avoiding these tasks altogether can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety, not to mention a poor performance review. So, you must find ways to deal with them. And to help you do just that, below are some strategies to help you deal with boring tasks and make the experience of completing them more manageable.
1. Break them into smaller tasks
Dealing with boring tasks can feel overwhelming, especially if they’re time-consuming. So, one effective strategy to employ is to chop them up into smaller pieces, making them easily achievable. When you break these tasks into smaller ones, you trick your mind into believing you can complete them faster and easier. Doing that gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue solving the task. So, whenever a boring task lands on your desk, break it down into smaller tasks that can be completed in shorter periods.
2. Set time limits and take breaks
Setting time limits and taking breaks can also be helpful. They work similarly to breaking down a big task into smaller tasks. Time limits and breaks have the added benefit of helping to prevent procrastination, which can be more prevalent when dealing with boring tasks. Often, your first instinct when faced with a boring task is to procrastinate; it’s also easy to get distracted when working on mundane tasks. By setting time limits on your mundane tasks and allowing yourself to take short breaks, you’ll be less apt to put off the task and less apt to let your mind wander.
3. Change your mindset
How you look at boring and mundane tasks can greatly affect your perception of them. For example, if you think of a task as tedious and unpleasant, it becomes even more so. But if you can be more positive about the task, focusing on the result and how completing the task can benefit you in the long run, you’ll be able to approach the task with a more positive attitude, making it easier to complete. So, try to find the positivity in every mundane task you face.
4. Find ways to make the process of doing them more enjoyable
Another trick to effectively deal with boring tasks is to find enjoyment in doing them; just because a task is boring doesn't mean it has to be unbearable. For example, while completing a mundane task you can listen to music or your favorite podcast. Granted, certain tasks require peace of mind and zero distractions, so if that’s the case, reward yourself with something you enjoy in between working on the task. Or, reward yourself with a small treat after completing the task.
5. Ask for help
Mundane and boring tasks might not be mundane or boring to everyone. What if you had a coworker who enjoyed what you found boring? You’ll never find out unless you ask around. So, scout your workplace for coworkers who have free time and who might not have the same view of a task that you do. Or, even if the task is viewed similarly by all your coworkers, ask around to find a coworker who might have free time and be eager to lend you a helping hand. Having someone to work alongside you can make a task less daunting and help you stay on track.
Erik Bergman cofounded Catena Media and helped grow it to over 300 employees and a $200 million valuation before stepping away to start Great.com, an iGaming organization that donates 100 percent of its profits to environmental charities. In addition to running a successful online business, Erik hosts the Becoming Great podcast, shares entrepreneurship tips with his more than 1 million social media followers, and contributes to sites like Entrepreneuer.com, Business Insider, Foundr, and Forbes.