It’s not easy to find motivation for getting tedious or difficult tasks done. Whether it’s finally getting into that forgotten budget sheet or doing something annoying, there are multiple tasks out there that you’d rather not be doing.
But sometimes, there’s just no way around them. You simply need to focus and get over with the work on time.
We tend to procrastinate on tasks we don’t want to do, but that doesn’t make the stuff go away. They start working like bottlenecks in our lives, preventing us from doing what we love and causing a lot of frustration. That’s why accepting that certain tasks just need to be done is so important.
Here are 10 strategies to help you approach the tasks you hate and conquer them.
1. Create a to-do list for the most laborious tasks
Nothing beats procrastination like a well-organized to-do list. Organizing and scheduling your tasks will be much easier if you come up with a daily, weekly, or even monthly to-do list as your point of reference.
If you’re already in the habit of creating to-do lists, you probably often put your least favorite tasks at the very bottom of the list.
The thing is, to get forward these tasks need to be done. Move them to the top instead. That way, you will be more motivated to finish them because you will be thinking about the more exciting tasks that come next. Plus, once you complete your hardest tasks, everything will become easy because you will be left with the easy tasks you love to do.
2. Schedule your tasks
If you’ve already tried putting hard tasks on your to-do list and it’s not working for you, try scheduling these responsibilities by putting them on your calendar. That way, you will mentally attach a deadline to them, and they will seem more important. You will be agreeing with yourself to complete the tasks on a given day.
By finishing a task at the scheduled time, you will remove the negative feelings attached to the task. It’s easy to lose track of tedious tasks when facing a long to-do list cluttered with all types of responsibilities. Scheduling a task you don’t feel like doing is a smart move.
3. Place it between things you love doing
Another smart strategy for getting boring tasks done is sandwiching them between two other things that you simply love. Counterbalancing tasks you love and hate will give you more motivation to get your work done and render the entire process far more pleasant.
Just think about it. Facing an awful task will be easier if you’re full of energy and excitement and looking forward to another task that gets you excited.
4. Do it first
If you can’t find any motivation for a task, sometimes doing it first is the solution. If you’re facing a task you don’t want to complete; you’re bound to become very creative in coming up with excuses not to do it as the day goes by.
However, if you bite the bullet and get down to it first thing in the morning, you’ll get it over with before you know it and move on to more pleasant things. Otherwise, you will spend the entire day thinking about how to avoid doing that task. And that’s a massive waste of your time.
5. Give it meaning
The task you’ve been avoiding is probably narrow, boring, and doesn’t spark your creativity. One solution to the problem is giving your task more depth than it has right now. You can make it more exciting and approach it in an entirely new way.
But how can you transform a tedious task into an exciting one? Start by considering it as you would any other work. Think of potential ways through which you could achieve more in less time. Look for smart ways to optimize the way you complete that task. Make the task more enjoyable by seeing how it fits into the bigger picture and why it needs to be done.
6. Set a timer
Are you facing a small mindless task? One way to make sure that you get it done as quickly as possible is setting a timer. That way, you’ll be creating a specific window of time that will keep you challenged to be focused throughout the activity and help you get over with it as quickly as possible.
Naturally, this way you will feel satisfied by spending as little time as possible on the tasks that you don’t like, allowing yourself more time to dedicate to things that you like.
7. Measure time you spend on different tasks
If you’re wasting too much time during the day on tasks that don’t bring that much difference to your work output, here’s what you need to do. Record in detail how many hours you spend on various activities during the day and locate them all on a chart.
One look at this chart will ensure that you’re moving in the right direction. It will also give you a real motivation boost. If you keep procrastinating, just look at the chart and you will see the potential consequences of your actions right in front of you.
Instead of thinking about all the different tasks you could be doing instead of this one, do your best to focus and complete the task at hand as efficiently as you can. You never know, perhaps you’ll start enjoying it in the process.
This is an excellent solution if you find yourself paralyzed and avoid getting started on tasks you don’t like at all. Just accept it and choose to dedicate your attention to a job like that. Sometimes, that type of intense focus can transform tasks you hate into ones you like.
9. Break it down
It’s hard to get started if you’re facing a task you don’t feel excited about and know will take you a long time to complete. That’s why you should break your large work into smaller chunks and finish one part at a time.
A massive project can be overwhelming at first, but once you sit down and break it into smaller pieces, you’ll find that it is quite manageable. For example, if the task that you’ve been avoiding is a thorough clean-up of your room, you can just divide your room into sections and clean one section every day. That way, the work will look much less intimidating, and you won’t even know it when it’s over.
10. Get some company
If the task you’re facing allows for someone else to hang out with you, invite a friend over to keep you company while you’re doing it. We generally enjoy every activity more when we are with other people. The task will become much more enjoyable. Having a friend around might turn out to be a distraction, but a good company can provide you with moral support or reassurance.
If you’re facing a task you hate that will take a lot of time and won’t bring much value to your life, consider delegating it to someone else. Hire someone else to do it for you to make the most of your time.
However, if it’s something that you need to do yourself, use these 10 strategies when approaching the tasks you hate and you’ll be on your way to conquering them all.
About the author: Sarah Davies is a career expert, currently supporting Open Colleges, an online education provider. She is also a huge fan of self-improvement and might often be found with a motivational speech on her IPad or a self-improvement book in her hands.