“You know, I do my work generally quite well. I have a problem with just those tasks that I don’t enjoy”.

This is one of the most common productivity complaints that I hear. Some don’t enjoy accounting, submitting travel bills, and the like. Some don’t like documenting their work. Some hesitate to start something that is unknown to them. They know that these are important tasks, but they simply can’t make up their mind to work on those tasks. If you are also battling with this productivity issue, I may have some ideas for you. Read on…

It’s never a one-size-fits-all solution, so one needs to choose one from a few strategies:

  1. We are often stuck on tasks that are new to us. You will need to break down such an all-new task into smaller sub-tasks. You will develop an interest in a task once you know what it takes to do it.  Find more details here.
  2. The idea of breaking down into smaller parts also helps when the task is not new but one that takes a long time to complete, something like doing an online course. It’s highly likely to complete a task if you do it in parts than as a whole. Find more details here.
  3. The challenge with fairly routine tasks is that you have very little willpower to work on them and the only way to succeed with them is to do everything to reduce the internal resistance. You will need to organize all the required material for the task. This could mean many things. You might put the required documents into a proper folder structure for quick access. You may create shortcuts to them. You may bookmark the required web pages. You will keep credentials needed to access, handy. You would keep a checklist of all the steps you need to complete the task. Find more details on organizing your material here.
  4. You should explore automating tasks that are purely laborious and do not require deeper thinking. This would mean creating batch scripts. You will need some expert’s help to make a batch script, but once there, you could run it yourselves or schedule it to run automatically at a certain time of the day. If you are totally new to batch scripts, check out some basics here. You should also explore using more modern automation tools such as Zapier.
  5. Last but not least is the idea is of outsourcing. If it clearly indicates that working on a certain task is not the best utilization of your time, you should consider outsourcing it. Here is an interesting article that will help you to understand how to take such decisions.

It’s prudent to introspect and eliminate the barriers that make us procrastinate on certain tasks than simply give up on them. Next time you notice that you are avoiding a task, deal with it responsibly by choosing the appropriate strategy from the above to strike it off your to-do list with pride!

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