5 Strategies to Push Through the Tasks You Hate—And Beat Them
It doesn’t matter who you are, we all have certain responsibilities that we hate to tackle. Whether it is household chores or a looming work deadline, getting ahead of these dreaded tasks is something we all struggle with. Here are some strategies to push through the tasks you hate.
One of the best motivators is positive reinforcement. If you can’t see any good reason for taking on the project you’re dreading, remind yourself that there is a reward for doing it. Whether it is a company perk that keeps you aiming for completion, or if it’s something as simple as grabbing a candy bar from the snack bar, focusing on the reward for slogging through the unwanted mission is a great way to stay on track. You can up the game by making the reward something that appeals to you on a personal level; going to see a new hit movie or spending a day at the spa. Just make sure that you don’t take the reward until you’ve done the job.
Break it Up
Sometimes large projects can just seem overwhelming. Sometimes, taking a few moments to dissect the many parts of a whole and set smaller deadlines can be helpful. This can put the smaller tasks into perspective and keep the finish line for a particular segment in sight. Clean your home one room at a time, taking breaks for mini-rewards when you’ve finished each part. Treat yourself to an out-of-office lunch after submitting the first part of a work project for review. You’ll arrive back at work with a sense of accomplishment, and you’ll be ready to attack the next item on the list.
Make a list of your dreaded tasks and decide which ones are the most important. Get those done first. The motivational boost that you get from checking off items on the list should help you move on to the next ones. If by the end of the day, there are one or two less-important tasks that aren’t done yet, you won’t feel so bad since they aren’t the highest priority, and you’ll be able to make a plan for tomorrow to tackle the last couple. This can work the other way too; if you leave the critical items until the end, you may be pressured into completing your list because you simply can’t leave the last few items undone. Figure out which strategy motivates you better and use it.
One effective way of making sure you stay on task is by timing how long you plan to work and sticking to it. Scientific studies have shown that there is a perfect formula for efficient work: work for 52 minutes and then break for 17. It may seem like a bizarre combination, but you should give it a try. Set a timer on your phone for 52 minutes and work straight through. Then when the alarm sounds, give yourself 17 minutes to relax, grab a snack, or take a quick walk before you get back into it.
It’s so easy to let little things nag at your brain while you’re trying to get work done. Whether it’s a noisy environment, clutter around your office, or a game on your computer, you need to get rid of the distractions before you invest yourself in your unfortunate task, or those little things will keep you from being productive. Close the windows or put on headphones to get rid of noises. Take a few minutes to clean up your workspace, or close your Facebook window to eliminate those things that sap your productivity.
Hopefully, these strategies will help you overcome your reluctance to take on and push through the tasks you hate. Employing any or all of these methods can help you find your motivations and push through these tasks to get things done.
Audrey Robinson is free spirit, obsessed with experiencing everything the world has to offer. An absolute fan of self-development and self-care. Currently traveling and writing for Datastical, an online knowledge library.