How to Get Monotonous Jobs Done Accurately and Quickly

Dull, tedious, boring, dreary, monotonous, dull... dull... dull... It's a boring job, but someone's gotta do it. How do you get through the day when work is a drudge - but shine doing it? Read on.


  1. Image titled Get Monotonous Jobs Done Accurately and Quickly Step 1
    Understand the value of getting a boring task done well. A boring job is a job that still needs to be done. If you do the boring jobs carefully and with an eye to quality, your boss will notice. If your work is shoddy and apathetic, you'd better believe your boss will notice that, too. You're hired to do that boring job so your boss doesn't have to - but if you don't do it right, he or she will have to clean up your mess and that will create tension. Even the most tedious job is important, otherwise, you wouldn't have been hired to do it.
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    Adjust your mindset. Boring jobs are not all bad. Look at it this way: at least you don't have to take the job home with you, or worry about how the company's bills are being paid. You can go to work, do your job, and go home - free of worry or care and knowing that there will be more boring work for you to do tomorrow!
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    Organize the task. Let's set up an actual job scenario. The job is to take a whole bunch of blueprints rolled in brown paper, organize and label them so they can be found later. You are given a job name, a reference number, and a job description, and you're told to make a sheet (from a form they have) so the prints can be checked out later on. Until they're checked out, you have to store them, so you will need to tag them with the labels. Let's organize the task:
    • Alphabetize: Sort the rolls out from A to Z.
    • Create the sign-out sheet: Write down the name and reference number on the sheet, and figure out how many rolls go with this job. If you get, say, 6 copies of each, and there are 6 rolls, you know that each set is contained in one roll. If you have 12 rolls, noting that on the sheet will tell anyone checking them out later that they need two rolls to make one complete set.
    • Make the labels: Neatly copy the information from the sign-out sheet. And here's a tip: Let's say each set of blueprints needs two rolls, as stated above. Instead of trying to remember how many labels you just made, count the blanks that you will need first and set them aside. You will need 12 for this example. If you set them aside, you can just copy until you run out. That way, you don't need to stop and recount, wasting time.
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    Divide the job into manageable sections. A long, monotonous job goes along much easier if you divvy it up into smaller chunks that you can finish a bit at a time. Not only does this give you the feeling of making progress faster, but it also prevents mistakes or missed details. Once each part of the job is complete, stop and check it over for accuracy before moving on.
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    Gather your materials together. Look over the entire scope of the job you've been given. If dividing it into portions, divide the materials accordingly. Pull everything you will need for each part of the job together as you get to the corresponding part of the job. This includes your tools - have what you need ready. Note: Only have what you need. Don't clutter your workspace with stuff you don't need until later - for example, if you're stuffing envelopes, you don't need stamps right now. Put the stamps aside, out of your way. Stuff the envelopes. Seal the envelopes. Turn them over. Now go and get the stamps. ... Oh, and don't leave clutter from the previous part of the job.
    • As each part is complete, strike and re-stage; in other words, clear out and put away all tools that are no longer needed, and any surplus materials. Once your work area is clear, gather tools and supplies for the next phase of the job.
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    Listen to music as you work. Sometimes, putting on some motivational music can really help "unfocus" you from distractions so that you can truly focus on the job at hand. If the music is rhythmic and upbeat, you will work "to the beat" - that means, don't use sleepy, plaintive, ambient, or atmospheric stuff; instead, use dance music or energetic pop, or whatever will get you moving.
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    Stay loose. Take breaks once per hour or hour and a half. Stand up, stretch, get a glass of water, clear your head. Don't waste a lot of time, just loosen up so you can get back to the task with fresher eyes and an un cramped body.
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    Quality check every detail. Before you consider your job finished, get up, take the aforementioned break, loosen up, and get re-focused and ready to check the final product. If the job is complex or has many fine details, get a co-worker to check it for you before you turn it in. This final check is critical to assuring that even the most tedious of jobs is done with accuracy and care.


  • Use your time on a tedious job well. Your mind can safely wander, once you get the routine of what you're doing down. Particularly in jobs that just require someone to physically do them, where there are a small number of steps and it's almost impossible to make a mistake (you could, it's supposed, put an empty envelope out to be mailed), daydreaming about your future prospects is not impossible.
  • Boring jobs often have higher turnover and less career commitment. If you're in school or working part time toward self employment, a boring job will give a steady income that's easier to leave when your real career takes off.
  • If there are several of you who need to get a big, boring job done, discuss amongst yourselves what your tolerances are for “boring” work, or even what each considers to be boring work. Often, what would bore Person A into insanity is perfectly tolerable to Person B. You might be able to divide up the job with a minimum of pain all around.
  • Boring work can be the perfect day job for a creative writer or artist. Jot notes on your project during breaks and use the project itself to stay awake and focused during the workday. This is especially good for intermittent boring jobs where you're supervising a machine and need to wait while it runs, then reload it. Carry a pocket Moleskin and combine your day job with your career!


  • Don't let the boring job expand to fill the rest of your life. If you find your everyday routine on days and hours off falls into the same "automatic" frame of mind as the hours spent at work, you might be falling into the trap of a narrow empty life. Break the routine. Spend time doing creative activity and socialize with diverse people.
  • Don't let your work hours in a monotonous job expand into too much overtime. You can fall into a dull routine of "work without a life." The tighter your finances, the easier it is to get trapped into spending more time and energy than you have. That can feel secure because of the job's predictable routine but any crisis becomes devastating. Quiet desperation at the edge of financial need is not sustainable. Treat it as temporary and look for something better. Allow enough time for sleep, household chores, important relationships and individual pursuits. Include creative activity like dance, karaoke, leisure art, crafts and sports in your life.
  • If your dull job is sedentary, counterbalance that with physically active leisure pursuits. Dance, yoga, sports, hiking, birding and working out are all ways to avert health problems that can make concentration difficult.
  • Doing a crummy job will not advance your career. And doing a crummy job on something that could cause injury to someone later is morally reprehensible. If you really can't handle the tedium, get a less boring job.

Things You'll Need

  • Pondering time
  • Organizational ability
  • Discipline
  • Small music player with suitable music

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