If work was fun all the time, it wouldn’t be work.
There are tasks and responsibilities we all have to work on that we can’t always enjoy, nor find all that much satisfaction from completing. And yet they must be done.
If you happen to love even just the smallest part of your job, consider yourself lucky. For most people work is work, all day long, and the most satisfying part of the day is when they finally get to go home.
So how can you find peace with those tasks you really hate — whether you love your job or not? The following tips will help:
Try delegating, early. Ask yourself if you really need to be completing this task or if it’s something you could delegate — either to a team member or a virtual assistant. The trick is to delegate it early. Identify which tasks you dislike, which could easily be done by somebody else, and how you’ll manage the help you have in order to get it completed.
Get them out of the way, first thing. The faster they’re done, the quicker you can stop thinking about the fact you have to do them. Get the worst of your work out of the way first thing in the morning when you’re fresh and able to power through.
Stop looking at the clock. The tasks will seem longer and more laborious if you keep checking the time. Meanwhile, your attention will drift off to considering all the things you could be doing as the minutes tick by. Make peace with getting the project done rather than working on a project for a period of time.
Close the inbox, turn off the alerts. The less you want to do a task, the more likely you are to get distracted. Don’t let the task you dislike linger any longer than it has to. Power through if without stopping to think about what else you could be doing by avoiding such distractions in the first place.
Consider the bigger picture. Is completing the tasks you hate a means to something bigger? A promotion, a great project, a new client, a better career? Always keep the end goal in mind when working on tasks you dislike. This is your motivation. And if you really can’t find a reason for why you’re doing it, remember it’s at least paying the rent or mortgage, or likely to pay off in the future.
See the funny side. It has to be done but it won’t change the world, so see the lighter side about what you’re doing. You’re at work, filling in data on a spreadsheet that may never ever see the light of day, other than a quick approval by your direct manager. That’s funny, right? You’re getting paid to complete a meaningless task for the sake of bureaucratic procedures that have been in place for decades. Surely, there’s something amusing in that? See the funny side of the boring, stupid and meaningless tasks you’re doing. Keep your sense of humour, stay light hearted and avoid getting frustrated by what you have to do.
Change the habit. While you’re being amused by having to complete the tasks you hate (as above), why not try and find ways to break the habit? Think about how you can make such tasks more interesting for the next time they require your attention, or less painful for the next person. Better yet, how can you eliminate them altogether? Make it your personal mission to change or remove the tasks you hate.