Six ways to complete the most mundane work tasks

Ever succeeded in getting your dream job or role only to find that there are aspects of it you don’t particularly enjoy? Whether it’s a repetitive task or something just plain dull and boring, we all struggle with them. This is especially true if those are unavoidable. Try as we might, we aren’t able to focus on the detestable work in front of us. To get those notorious tasks done, here are six ways which you can attempt –  

  • Work in short spurts

Sometimes, trying to focus on tasks that are highly boring does the exact opposite of what we are trying to do and our attention wanders even more. Try working in smaller time slots. Not only is it easier to tackle tasks in smaller chunks, this method allows you a breather between tasks. The break can range from a quick walk in the neighbourhood to simply indulging in some light banter with a colleague. This way, you’ll start your next round of work feeling refreshed.

  • Scheduling your mundane tasks 

Mundane tasks are the last ones to be ticked off a to-do list, simply because we tend to procrastinate on the undesirable work tasks and let them sit on the list as long as we can – which is till the deadline isn’t looming over. Hence, before you begin work in office in the morning, schedule tasks you know are boring so that you get them done before other tasks. Moreover, having a visual reminder of a pending task acts as an additional non-verbal prompt to finish with work.

  • Set Timer

One of the best ways to get tasks out of the way is to create challenges and what’s better than setting a personal deadline for tasks. Having an external motivator in the form of an obstacle can provide you the much required push to get things done. Think of it like a game. Reward yourself in simple ways, like treating yourself to a dessert, if you finish tasks before the deadline.

  • Sandwich tasks

Squeeze in a drab task in between two engaging tasks. By scheduling tasks in such a manner, you’ll start the mundane work with high energy off the task prior and will also look forward to the next interesting task. We know for a fact that we all have a tendency to put off boring tasks. Stalling and leaving them out for the end due to lack of motivation. Just finishing off the boring to reach the exciting is motivating enough.

  • Combine tasks

If you have multiple, soul sucking tasks to complete, try batching them together. This way, not only will you be finishing off more than one mundane task together, you’ll finish all such tasks faster. For example, a task like tagging emails can be combined with another task like listening to client recordings.

  • Automate

For repetitive tasks, resort to automation. Use project management software that’ll automatically complete tasks that need to be tackled on a regular basis. If you are on the move and working out of a smartphone, use task management apps like Wunderlist, Google Tasks etc. A number of web-based apps are around that can effectively manage your recurring tasks as well as timesheets, documents and expenses.

Not every work day will be a bed of roses and there will be days interspersed with dull, sleep inducing or repetitive tasks. You might come across work that may be insanely boring but also important and necessary. Therefore, embrace the mundane and complete them with flourish. After all, those tasks are the ones that make us grateful for the tasks that we actually look forward to.

Asif Upadhye on Twitter
Asif Upadhye
Director at SPRD
Asif Upadhye is the Director and The Dark Knight at SPRD | Stories.PR.Digital, a new-age Public Relations think tank backed by ideators, wordsmiths and design junkies focussed on delivering bespoke services.

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