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3 Simple Questions To Transform Any Boring Task Into An Insightful Game-changer


A sketch celebrating doing monotonous and boring tasks

Don't postpone monotonous tasks, devise a simple plan instead.


My house is a mess, but I keep on avoiding tidying it up.


And it's not because I am an untidy person and hate cleaning my house.


No, not at all.


The thing is that I find it super boring, and I keep on distracting myself by engaging in something that is more fun. Like scrolling through social media feeds or reading a newsletter I've just received. Anything but doing the boring stuff.


And you might say - you lack self-control, missus. You might have a point there. But I am sure you do too when it comes to certain tasks that you consider boring.


So what do I do? Do I leave my house to succumb to dust monsters?


Nope. I am not that evil.


Instead, I trick myself into turning the boring task into something useful.


Over the years, I devised this simple plan because I am a Project Manager with 15 + years of experience. And plans are my bread and butter.


3 questions to ask yourself


There are three simple questions that I ask myself when I need to tackle a boring task:


1. What is one thing about this boring task I might find enjoyable?

2. How will I feel after it is done?

3. What can I do once the task is out of the way?


Let's take spreadsheets, for example. Yikes! Myriads of rows and numbers, formulas and dates. Just thinking about it makes me yawn.


If you see spreadsheets as tedious, time-wasting activities, they will be exactly that.


But if you think that adding and moving numbers from one cell to another might be rather meditative, then it will turn from something you dread of doing to something you look forward to.


And imagine if you also put a nice relaxing soundtrack on... Heaven.


So, let's show my three questions in action:


1. What is one thing about this boring task I might find enjoyable? - It is repetitive hence meditative. I can put slow music on, put my phone on 'do not disturb' and switch off my brain.


2. How will I feel after it is done? - I will feel satisfied that the task is finished. The load will be off my shoulders. The guilt for procrastinating will disappear as well. And I would have spent some time being mindful or meditating instead of overexerting my brain by checking my phone and engaging in useless WhatsApp chats.


3. What can I do once the task is out of the way? - Oh, I can do whatever I want! I can read my book. I can scroll that social media feed. And I can find the funniest meme to send to my friends in the WhatsApp chat group. And I can do it all without feeling guilty for avoiding something boring.


I also like applying this three question strategy to any meetings that I find less than fun.


Imagine you have a long client meeting. Half of the meeting has nothing to do with you, but you need to attend as you are part of the crew (sigh).


So instead of counting the minutes until the next break, why not try to get engaged with the conversation?


This will be in response to question one.


If not every speaker or participant ensues excitement, choose one and follow that one person, his or her comments, body language, choice of words, and overall message.


It will amaze you how much you will learn about the subject and human psychology. So you'll have an enjoyable meeting and will learn something useful. Result!


 

There are some tasks that, no matter how hard you try, will not ignite your passion and imagination. But instead of fighting them, turn them into useful exercises, and you might end up looking forward to the most tedious tasks in the world.

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