Advice / Succeeding at Work / Productivity

9 Ways to Psych Yourself Up for the Most Mundane Office Tasks

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Filling in spreadsheets, figuring out your expenses, answering emails—who doesn’t get psyched for these simple tasks? [Insert sarcasm.]

But we all have to do them, so we might as well grit our teeth and try to make them a bit more exciting.

Before you say, “There’s no way you can convince me cleaning out my inbox will be fun,” check out these nine resources for some noteworthy strategies to turn even the most mundane assignments into something you actually look forward to tackling.

  1. Try gamification, or applying elements of gaming, such as friendly competition and awards, to motivate yourself (and others around you). (The Huffington Post)

  2. What always makes sending emails more fun? Attaching a GIF at the end! (Inc.)

  3. To spruce up all those dull meetings you have to attend, consider passing out crayons and doodling while you talk, or take away the table all together. (Entrepreneur)

  4. If a chore bores you, it’s probably because it’s not stimulating you enough. Instead of just accomplishing something, become an expert in it to create more of a challenge. (99U)

  5. Or, force yourself to work under certain constraints (for example, timing yourself) for more difficulty—this is a great way to add an element of creativity to what you’re doing. (Lifehack)

  6. Combine things you need to get done with things you consider fun, whether it’s listening to music, working with a good friend, or moving to a nice café—otherwise known as “fusing.” (Medium)

  7. The best way to liven up any irritatingly boring task is to switch up your routine—do what you normally start with last, or tackle multiple projects at once. (Business Insider)

  8. For the things you really hate to do, sandwich one dismal task between two enjoyable ones so you have something to look forward to before and after. (Bustle)

  9. Maybe you need to change how you think about a job rather than the job itself—here’s how to mentally make boring tasks suck less. (The Daily Muse)