Make It Work: Staying Motivated in Performing Repetitive Tasks

people at a business meeting

You might be surprised to find out that one of the most challenging hurdles in any office or workplace is not as exciting as you might think. It is actually having to stay focused and motivated while doing repetitive and boring tasks.

Take, for example, people working in an assembly line. Day in and day out, they check if the items that are being assembled on the table top conveyor are in perfect condition. If your job is a lot like that, how do you keep yourself awake for the whole duration of your shift?

So, the biggest challenge any person will encounter in the workplace is having to stay focused on a repetitive task. Here are some answers to your dilemma.

Remember why you are doing this

If you’re working in a factory and your task is to put two components together every day, it’s understandable if, by the end of the month, you start thinking about leaving and finding another job. But you should stop thinking bad thoughts about your current job.

What you can do at this point is to think about why you are doing this in the first place. Perhaps you need the money and this job is your best option to get what you need. Or, you are working hard for a promotion next year and so, you need to stay focused on your task despite it being boring.

Whatever your reason for doing what you are doing, you need to remind yourself that to give you that push to stay focused and motivated. It may not help you find fulfilment, but it can help you fight back your feeling of boredom.

people working together in the office

Visualize your finish line

Performing a repetitive task is a lot like running a marathon. You run for several miles without changing anything in your actions. It is not like judo where you get to change your angle of attack when you realize that your opponent knows how to counter your uchi mata.

When you run in a marathon, it is all about putting your right foot in front and your left foot in front until you reach the finish line. So, when you are working on something that is repetitive and boring, your aim is to visualize the finish line to stave off the boredom.

Try thinking about how wonderful it is going to feel when you have entered the last item in your data-entry task. It may not be what managers would want their employees to think, but if it helps you to stay focused on your job until you are finished doing it, then by all means, use this tip.

Finally, you should think of yourself as a small (but great) contributor to a giant system. Like an ant that is helping other ants build a colossal anthill. It might not make you feel like you are the sole reason for your company’s success, but at least you know that your contributions significantly help the business achieve its goals and become successful.

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