Boring Tasks: How to Tackle Them with Tenacity and Vigor

Every business professional has to accomplish certain tasks that are mechanical, repetitive, and boring. Tasks such as filing papers and building spreadsheets take a considerable amount of time to complete and do not teach you anything new. However, these tasks are crucial for the smooth operation of a business and cannot be ignored. Many researchers have explored what makes a job boring and how professionals can improve their efficiency when doing boring tasks. In her article for the Harvard Business Review, Alicea Lieberman shares how you can tackle boring tasks with enthusiasm and persistence.

Tangential Immersion Impacts Boring Tasks

As an experiment, two groups of people were told to brush their teeth. One of the groups was shown a video clip of natural landscapes with music and soothing sounds. The other group was shown an immersive documentary with footage of bears and wolves. The group that watched the more immersive video brushed their teeth longer than the other group. When you involve yourself in an immersive experience while doing a monotonous task, it improves your productivity and concentration.

How to Implement Tangential Immersion

Listening to podcasts or music while exercising is one of the most common examples of tangential immersion. Similarly, you can use tools like work timers to enhance your perseverance. Managers can also introduce incentives or bonus time-off to encourage employees. The idea of tangential immersion primarily focuses on uplifting the spirits of a person when performing boring tasks. Lieberman mentions, “Our studies highlight the importance of bundling activities together such that the product requires enough (but not too much) of users’ attention — and that has implications for teams throughout the development lifecycle, from ideation to sales and marketing.”

Companies can provide free audiobooks to employees when filing paperwork. Listening to an instructive podcast or watching an immersive video will expand their knowledge and motivate them to do monotonous tasks with enthusiasm.

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