Everyone has moments at work or school where they feel unmotivated, annoyed or blocked—I’ve been there too. And if you’re feeling stuck, it can be really hard to get through the day and learn how to do things you hate to do. In this post, I give you 5 awesome tips for how to do things you don’t want to do.
So, if you need help getting over a motivation-hump, try using the tips below to make your work at your job or in school more enjoyable.
This is something I have a knack for, I wanted to share my silly but super practical tips with you…
Ready to get started?
1. How to do things you hate – find something you like.
In college, I was always able to tolerate any professor by finding things I liked about the class. Not only that, but I also found myself trying to find things about the professors that I liked, and this enabled me to have fun in most of my classes.
For example, I once had a music theory class that I despised because of how goofy the professor was. He had a very odd and unpredictable way of grading assignments that involved a complex system of arbitrary plusses and minuses. I really disliked the lack of structure.
But even so, I was able to find things about the class that I enjoyed—and it was intentional. I wasn’t willing to sit in a class I hated every day, so I intentionally found ways to enjoy it AND appreciate the professor. I decided to focus on what I liked about him. Additionally, I hated that he was frequently late and lacked structure, but I liked his creative approach to teaching because he was able to help us experience music theory, not just hear it or learn about it. He would have us gather around the piano so we could FEEL the dissonance between two notes, not just hear it. It was actually quite interesting.
I learned how to do this in every class. At the beginning of the semester, regardless of what I thought about the professor or the content of the class, I looked for things I could appreciate and enjoy.
I eventually became confident that I would enjoy every professor and every class, and this is something that I’ve taken with me to this day.
2. Turn it into something creative.
I do this mostly at work. One example is dealing with reporting and analytics – I HATE IT. I find it tedious and horrible to pull reports, set goals, and then measure and keep myself accountable.
But one way I was able to combat the horrible-ness was by turning the reporting into something creative. I make really pretty reports and I always add something special that makes me happy.
I find that inserting creativity into my reporting helps me enjoy the process of putting all the data together, but it also meets another need for me—that of receiving affirmation for things I accomplish—because other people appreciate the presentation of creative reports as well.
This works well at school too. Don’t be afraid to spice up an assignment you find uninteresting. This will also help you to feel more confident—which is really motivating!
3. Remember how awesome you are even when stuff sucks.
At every job, I’ve always created lists of my accomplishments and things I’ve taught myself/learned as I go along. That way, even if my work isn’t getting reviewed, I can feel confident that I am doing a good job and making progress.
I NEED affirmation and positive affirmation in order to function, so sometimes I just have to give it to myself. This is also a good thing to do to prepare yourself for future opportunities.
If you’re trying to learn to do things you hate to do, then having a positive mindset can help.
4. Involve people in your boring work.
If I’m stuck on something, especially if it’s something that’s not fun, I’ll involve other people from my team at work.
If I can’t do that, I’ll even call up a friend and brainstorm.
Involving other people in a project is good for several reasons. First of all—you don’t know what you don’t know, meaning…if you knew how to enjoy something or get out of a rut, you would have done it already 🙂 Involving other brains in a project is good. Get ideas, hear their feedback, brainstorm ideas on a whiteboard.
Additionally, sometimes taking a break can help you feel renewed. So if you AND the people you’re trying to involve are both feeling stuck or unmotivated, consider taking a brain break by doing something fun (go on a walk, go out for coffee, play a card game, etc.)
5. Do the work/project in a fun or meditative place.
Finding somewhere lovely to work is always motivating. Changing my scenery helps me get out of a rut, and can also help my mood (which, in turn, helps my productivity usually…)
If you have a laptop computer at your job, take advantage of it! When i’m working on tedious projects, I often take my laptop to a different place at the office. I might go to a break room, and have even been known to buy a Big Joe so I can sit on the floor.
When I’m working from home, I’ll move around from one room to another when I’m feeling stumped or tired.
At school, you have to accept whatever lighting is around you in class. But when it comes time to do your work, consider finding some places that don’t have overhead lighting. This is a matter of (very strong) personal preference, but I find traditional fluorescent overhead lighting awful. When I get a job, the first thing I do is buy a couple floor lamps so I can turn off the lights. This obviously won’t always be an option, but consider it if you’re tired of the space you’re working in.
If you can’t adjust the lighting, find other small ways to make your work space special and personal.
Other Ways To Learn
These 5 tips actually helped me tremendously in high school and college, and even in the workplace once I started my career.
Now, utilizing the tips has become a more passive effort. I don’t really think about it–I just try to think about the enjoyable aspects of anything I need to do and focus on that.
Not only that, but these tips extended to other areas of my life too. I constantly look for the upside, and look to include people in things I need help with.
I also found that the college I attended my last two years worked really well for me. It was geared towards full time working adults (which I was). Rather than have a lot of classes to attend for semesters at a time, each class only lasted 5 weeks. I attended one epic 4-hour class a week, and was given extensive homework to act as “class time”. This self paced method worked really well for me.
In my adulthood, I’ve also continued to take classes online to better myself. I take a few classes a year about digital marketing, blogging, intentional living, videos and more.
One site I found that is a great mix of in-person and online education is Creative Live. They host live classes each week on a variety of (mostly creative) topics.