By Emily Suess
No matter what kind of business you own, there will always be mundane tasks to complete. You might be a solopreneur running the entire show yourself or a CEO filling in the gaps—too small to hire a new employee but too large to just let the work fall through the cracks. Whatever the case, these tips will help you get those boring jobs done.
1. Turn on some music.
For tasks that are truly boring, music can make the time pass more quickly. If you have ever cleaned your house while blasting your favorite song, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For repetitive tasks that don’t require a lot of mental focus, music is a good way to go.
2. Break the chore down into smaller parts.
Things like reading financial reports and writing grant proposals can seem boring. They require lots of concentration—and, let’s face it, not all of us excel when it comes to that particular skill. To get it done and escape complete boredom, just tackle one section at a time. Of course, this method requires that you avoid procrastinating.
3. Be mindful of what you’re doing.
Think of those boring chores as an opportunity to give your brain a break. As you organize files, for example, you can focus on the alphabet and your breathing instead of stressing about next week’s big presentation.
4. But don’t obsess over how dull it is.
Being mindful, however, does not mean focusing on how long or how tedious or how boring the task. If your mind starts to wander in that direction, refocus on something more positive. And if you just don’t think you can stand another minute, use the time to plan your escape. Perhaps you can find money in the budget for a contractor, or maybe an intern or someone else on staff doesn’t mind (or even enjoys) doing the work you dislike.
5. Think about the payoff.
Another thing that can help you power through a boring task is to keep reminding yourself what the payoff will be. For instance, if sealing 500 envelopes gets you 5 new customers, the project will totally be worth the effort.
6. Reward yourself when you’re finished.
After you complete those chores you really don’t want to do, try a little positive reinforcement. Once you balance the books, have a brainstorming session on the golf course. After you review a huge stack of resumes, meet a friend for coffee or lunch.
7. Take a breather.
If the job is really getting to you and you notice it’s starting to affect your mood negatively, walk away from it for a while. Take a few deep breaths and work on something else that is more enjoyable. Working on a task you hate while you’re in a negative head space will make the task that much more painful for you the next time it needs to be done.
Staying as positive as possible and breaking large, dull projects into more manageable pieces will help you get through.