4 Simple Ways to Combat Boredom and Get Things Done

mindmessagesHave you ever become so absorbed in an activity that time seemed to just fly by? You were able to focus – without looking for distractions – and found you were super productive.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have that same experience with the tasks you’ve been putting off – like tidying up your house or tackling your taxes?

The tendency to put off repetitive routine chores is common, so you are not alone. In fact, many people feel physically uncomfortable when faced with these types of tasks, because they find them downright boring.

If you can’t seem to find the motivation to do what you have to do, you might just be avoiding boredom. There are several ways to combat boredom and make mundane tasks more exciting – or at least more bearable.

The secret is to make the job more stimulating by keeping your mind engaged:

Spice things up. A meal without spices would be bland. What ingredients can you add to your tasks to liven them up? How about adding a few drops of essential oil to your laundry detergent to brighten up wash day, getting some stylish file folders to make filing fun, or listening to music (or an audio book) to make cleaning the house more pleasurable?

Add some fun. Adding an element of play can make even the most boring tasks more exciting. Get creative and make a game out of chores you’ve been avoiding. Set a timer and challenge yourself to beat the clock. You can also plan something enjoyable to do right after you complete the task, as a reward.

Invite a friend. Sorting hundreds of old photos on your own can be tedious. Inviting a friend to sit with you at the dining room table as you sort the photos can turn a boring task into a social event. Partner up and suddenly you can sort for hours without even realizing it. Your friend doesn’t even have to help you; the person can be there just for company and conversation.

Find a stimulating environment. Working at home or sitting at a desk is not for everyone. For a more interesting environment, take your laptop to a neighbourhood coffee shop. Being in the company of others may be all the stimulation you need to focus and finally get that report done.

Next time you find you are procrastinating on a job that needs to get done, become aware of how you are feeling. Notice your thoughts. If you are dreading it because you hate to be bored, try some of these boredom busters. Not only will you be amazed at what you can accomplish, you might even enjoy yourself.

Let me know (in the comment section below) what you’ve been putting off and which boredom busters work best for you.

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This post has 4 comments

  • Sara says:

    Hi Helen, those are some good tips. I was hoping you might have a suggestion for sitting through online web training sessions. I cannot keep my eyes open at the mere mention of sitting through a 2 hour or more training session. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Sara. So why sit? Put some headphones on and listen while you take a walk, workout on a machine or tidy up the house. If you must see the screen, perhaps you can find something to keep your hands busy, like doodling or coloring in an adult coloring book. Just some thoughts. Hope that helps!

  • Wendy says:

    Hellen I love receiving
    e-mails from you. I need all the pep talk I can get to get my energy levels going. I need to paint. The task I have been putting off is sanding the walls in my bedroom and bath. I really DON’T like to sand. Its messy. I have allergies and it seems never-ending. I normally put some fast paced music on. I love to sing it motivates me. I need to move furniture and clear the room before I can start. I just keep thinking not yet maybe tomorrow. My son even said he would come over and help me. I feel stuck. Any ideas? ? 😉 😉

    • Hi Wendy,

      You could try breaking the project up into smaller tasks and blocking time on your calendar for each task. If you don’t like sanding, perhaps your son could do that part for you. I love the idea of putting music on and singing along – great way to make it fun and less boring! Hope that helps. Good luck and perhaps you could come back to the blog post when you have started and let us know how it’s going.