Undoubtably, there are somethings you may find yourself doing that you dread. Maybe its laundry, maybe it’s dishes, maybe it’s fixing IT problems… complete energy drainer, right?
Well I’ve got some good news for you – this week, we’re focused on how to fall in love with boring tasks. I promise this is a game-changer!
So why would we spend time talking about how to fall in love with boring tasks?
Because if you’re an entrepreneur or an employee or a parent or a sibling or a spouse, inevitably there are going to be somethings you do throughout your life that you don’t necessarily love and/or you find boring.
According to Angela Duckworth who is the researcher who wrote the book called “Grit”, “grit” is the combination of passion and perseverance that allows people to succeed over time.
She went to do research to figure out what causes a West Point graduate or someone from the best top schools in this category to succeed and graduate successfully and make it, and other people to fall out, give up and fall off the scale there. And she figured out there’s something called grit – grit is a combination of passion and perseverance that lasts a long time.
Now she says one of the four psychological factors, we’re going to focus on one today, that causes someone to lose their grit, to give up their passion or their perseverance is when their task becomes boring. They lose interest, they get bored trying to do whatever it is they need to do.
So I have 3 tips for you today to make sure that whatever it is you’re doing, it never becomes boring. Grab a copy of the worksheet we made for you (below) and follow along as you fill in the blanks.
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3 Tips To Make Boring Tasks Fun
Focus on the rewards
- The number one thing you want to do to make sure you never get bored while working on an important project or going after your goal is to focus on the rewards that are going to come from this experience. Now here’s what we want to categorize: number one, focus on the – the blank spot there is – rewards of the experience.
Now what are we talking about when we say rewards? There are both – and if you want to fill in the next couple of blanks – there’s intrinsic rewards, internal factors that are important to you. Things you value that if you’re able to stay consistent, you will accomplish and stay congruent with these intrinsic rewards, intangibles, emotional feelings that are important to you. With the values you find important, you will stay congruent with these things.
Then there are extrinsic rewards – things, tangible stuff, the metal, the car, the plane, the house, the stuff you want, the money. Whatever these things are, they are external factors.
Mark Divine is in charge of SEALFIT in San Diego California, he was an ex-Navy Seal and finished top of his class. This guy has grit, being number one in his seal training group there. Now according to him, he says intrinsic motivators are always more powerful than extrinsic ones. So I want you to balance this out; in the next paragraph in that worksheet, what I want you to do is write down and think about 80-20: 20% extrinsic rewards – cars, money, houses, stuff, power, prestige, whatever, and 80% intrinsic rewards. So balance them out for yourself. Come up with, let’s say we’re going to come up with 10 altogether, 2 extrinsic rewards you’ll get by staying focused and accomplishing this boring task, and 8 intrinsic rewards.
Now the reason most people struggle is you might find this yourself. They can come up with 20 extrinsic rewards they want but can only come up with 1 or 2 intrinsic rewards. That’s why it’s boring because there’s not enough intrinsic reward attached to this specific task. So make sure you balance that out in your worksheet.
Constant and never-ending improvement
2. Many people find something boring because they do not have the philosophy of “constant and never-ending improvement”. They have a fixed mindset instead. There is a book written by Carol Dweck called Mindset. She talks about the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. A growth mindset strives for growth, strives to learn and strives to accomplish more things – making ‘boring’ tasks more challenging and engaging.
So you want to make sure you have a growth mindset and you want constant and never-ending improvement. So you want to figure out right now in the worksheet what’s your philosophy of how you will go about this boring task.
Do you believe it is the way it is and there’s no way to ever improve it? Or do you believe it’s your philosophy or a new philosophy you can create – that’s why we left the blank line there – a new philosophy that I can improve it, I will improve it, I’m going to improve it.
So what’s your philosophy going to be around improvement? Because if you believe there’s always room for improvement, my challenge to you is how can you go about this boring task in a way that makes it really fun? Improve the process either procedurally – how you physically go about it – or your perception – how you perceive what’s going on. But you can adjust your perception or your procedure
– PS: if you want to learn more about this, google Fall in Love With Hard Work by Jairek Robbins and the Huffington Post article we wrote a long time ago should pop up on the screen. Read my journey of falling in love with the boring task called Stacking Lumber For a Summer Job I Had in Canada. So read about that.
Going back here, for constant never-ending improvement, you can adjust the perception – how you view it – or the procedure – how you go about it – to make it fun. Engage yourself.
Game of five
3. This is a way you can make stuff really exciting and fun. It’s called a game of five. What does this mean? Challenge yourself like a kid would. I bet you can’t do ten days in a row. Bet you can’t win if I were to race against you. A bet, competition, game of five – how many days in a row can you get before you miss and then have to start over. See if you can beat your own record. But the thought process of adding this game of five fun approach that makes a task is now a competition with yourself or others if you want to include others. It makes it fun and exciting.
So have fun with this, download the worksheet, go through the questions there. Fill it all out, use that as your guide to take the boring stuff, make it exciting, go kick some butt and get some grit back on your side.
To your success,