Difficulty Beginner

How to survive boring and repetitive tasks

All jobs have boring parts to them. They just do. If you are in any job that is reasonably technical like the I.T industry or accounting, chances are if you haven’t been employed for long, you will have been asked to do one of the jobs that are long and boring.

I have these jobs regularly, and honestly, I really don’t mind doing them. I have developed some tips and tricks to making these fairly boring jobs somewhat enjoyable.

So stop planning your hypothetical office escape, take a deep breath and take note of these ‘how to survive boring and repetitive tasks’ tips.

It really rolls off the tongue.

Set-up

Your desk setup is vital.

Your desk should serve to make the task you are doing more enjoyable and easier, not harder. Clear the clutter. The clutter can be distracting in a negative way and can play a psychological role in making your task seem messy and unorganised.

Further to this point, make sure that your desk is nicely organised. Have anything you could possibly need readily available. Whether it’s tissues or just a notebook, have it on-hand and ready at your disposal.

Hydration

Whilst we all hear way too much that we should ‘drink more water’, you really should have water or any hydrating substitute to avoid headaches.

When you are repeatedly doing the same process over and over again, it can be easy to develop a killer headache or a migraine. By drinking water regularly, you should mostly avoid dehydration and stay fresh.

Another helpful tip I’ve developed is having a glass of water over a bottle. Yes, a bottle is easier. But by having to get up and get more water at intervals, you get the chance to stretch your legs and get completely away from the task you’ve been doing. It keeps you fresh.

Breaks

Take breaks when you can. It’s important to get ‘on a role’ with your work, but breaking is key to staying fresh so you don’t make too many mistakes. It also stops you from throwing your computer at the wall.

When you break I also want you to engage in anything that makes you happy or laugh. Watch a video that you know will give you chuckle. Read something that makes you happy. Check Instagram.

Do anything that has nothing to do with what your task is.

Music/Podcasts

Music and podcasts are the ultimate deal-breaker for doing a boring task. You should stockpile a selection of podcasts that tickle your fancy and are interesting.

Also if you can find a podcast that is funny, even better. If you don’t listen to podcasts, I would highly recommend you give it a go if you are regularly doing jobs that are fairly monotonous.

If you are more into listening to music, I would suggest making different playlists suited to your requirements for the task. If you are wanting to make some difficult work light, make a playlist with fairly uplifting songs. If you are nearing the end of a task and want to get it done by a certain time, have a playlist that is fast paced and will naturally keep you moving through the task.

Jelly Beans

Yes. Jelly beans deserve their own section.

They are so good. So very, very good.

Effectively jelly beans are petrified sugar, shaped like a bean and are a funky colour. The sugar is the key. Eating a jelly bean provides you with a little spark to keep you going. Think of jelly beans as tiny pellets of fuel. When you need a miniature boost of energy, have a jelly bean and ride that miniature sugar wave.

Learn to enjoy it

I have learned to enjoy the jobs other people shudder at.

I now like getting a big task that will take me at least half of a day and is extremely repetitive. I have learned to enjoy it for a number of different reasons:

  • It’s valuable work: The work you are doing may be boring and repetitive, but is valuable. Your colleagues will appreciate that what you are doing isn’t the most desirable job, but is valuable to make the other aspects of everybody’s jobs easier.
  • It can make the day faster: I have found that half my day can be gone very quickly after spending a long time working on the same task. Once you get into a ‘groove’ and start making some decent progress the hours slip by.
  • happy It can be enjoyable: Doing the same thing over and over again can obviously be pretty bland, but listening to music and podcasts isn’t. Once you have your process down and autonomous, it seems to me that I’m doing productive work, whilst listening to one of my favourite podcasts or playlists.

 

Most of my earlier tips here are useful, but they aren’t as important as this last one. Learning to enjoy a job serves to make your work life much better. There will forever be jobs that we don’t enjoy doing, but attempting to enjoy or at the least not hate a job will help you throughout the rest of your working career.

How do I know all of this?

I work at Matter Solutions and we deal with all things online marketing.

This means many spreadsheets, meta descriptions and checking URLs. I have started to hone and develop my skills, tips, and techniques for doing the bigger and more ‘boring’ jobs.

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