How to Take the Boredom Out of Repetitive Tasks

Repetition is the mother of learning. On the flipside, too much repetition can lead to boredom, burnout, errors and inaccuracies, wastage, this lingering notion that you’re not good enough for “value-adding” assignments – the list can go on and on.Bored employees

That being said, it is no surprise that for a lot of people, the only way to survive a corporate job or a business that thrives on doing the same things over and over is to program their brains into thinking even the most irritating of tasks is exciting. At the end of the day, positivism, especially in today’s world of instant gratification, is the ultimate differentiator.

On that note, here are things you can start doing right now to take the boredom out of repetitive tasks:

1. Plan

First off, clear your head and rid yourself of negative emotions. And then, begin to examine your workload. Know your milestones and determine your deadlines. Establish which tasks can be grouped together, and delegate if and where you can. Think outside the box and anticipate problems that may arise. Or better yet, come up with new ways to complete your designated tasks.

2. Prioritize

The temptation to do the easy tasks first is always there. If you want to stick to your schedule and beat your deadlines, tackle the urgent ones before they escalate into really urgent ones. If your workload isn’t time-sensitive, accomplishing those in the tedious category at the start of the day when your energy level is at its peak is also a brilliant idea.

3. Automate

There are tools designed to automate repetitive tasks. AceProject, for example, is a project management software that automatically tackles tasks that recur daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. And then, there’s Comindware Tracker for enterprises, which turns a workflow model into a dynamic and collaborative sequence with very minimal, if any, supervision.

If your smartphone is an essential part of your task completion arsenal, simple task management apps like Google Tasks, TeuxDeux and Wunderlist support mobility.

4. Compete

Healthy competition is good. Develop the habit of challenging yourself and/or others (workplace colleagues, business peers, etc.) to do more with less time while keeping a keen eye on your work’s overall quality. Whenever you beat your goals, reward yourself with a snack or a few more minutes of online reading and/or exercise time. Exercise keeps the mind alert, focused and refreshed.

Keep in mind, however trivial the reward may seem, it is still a reward, something to look forward to for every task skillfully carried out.

5. Modify

Understanding human nature’s proclivity for variety is essential in surviving routinized tasks. If it’s possible, modify the order of your tasks to keep them interesting. For example, if you need to create a names database, try first working on those that start with Z all the way up to A.

To keep your sanity level in tip-top shape, whenever you feel like you’re ready to scream, do something different, like go for a short walk, refill your empty tumbler or coffee cup, anything to get your mind off the task at hand, albeit temporarily.

6. Relax

If you think music will help you focus, go for it. Remember to tone it down though, particularly if other people are in the vicinity. If it’s a desk job you have, exert an effort to make your cubicle as relaxing and inviting as possible. Include a picture of your family and friends, plus your vision board to help you remember that everything you do is a step towards the attainment of your life’s goals.

Conclusion

Even if you think you’ve been assigned the most boring tasks in the planet, keep your cool. If you think about it, the earth rotating in its axis and revolving around the sun day in and day out has more reason to complain. (It’s probably good that it cannot complain.) Sometimes, “boring” is a matter of perspective, which means whether you look at the bright side or not is totally up to you.

Image credit: Katie Lane | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Maricel Rivera

Maricel Rivera is a marketing specialist and freelance writer currently working with Comindware, a market-leading business process management (BPM) software provider.