Are you doing enough boring stuff?


How excited are you to complete those dull, and well, not so exciting tasks? The majority of us tend to place those tasks at the end of our ‘to do’ lists. Perhaps we might come up with reasons not to do them, such as I don’t want to make another call or I have done enough for today. I have heard most of them, and it’s something that is all too common because it’s part of our human nature. This challenge of doing the “ boring tasks” often comes up when I am helping clients improve performance within their organizations.

So how do some of the best athletes in the world approach doing these types of tasks? I mean doing the same drills, practice after practice, year after year, doesn’t sound too exciting. Well, when we look at great athletes like Wayne Gretzky or Michael Jordan, we see them spending hours practicing those “boring” drills over and over again, with no end in sight. Even when they reached great levels of success, they knew they had to continue to do the boring “stuff” in order to remain great at their sport.

So what drives them to keep doing the boring stuff? Here are some insights:

Passionate learners

Deep down, high-level performers in either sport or business have an innate sense of ongoing learning and the application of new knowledge. Nothing is too mundane for them to learn or perfect. Just look at the hours someone might dedicate to practicing an important presentation. Each time they practice, they learn something new, and apply the new insights, and as a result, become better.

Motivated by the end result

Having small goals is important however, sometimes we can start to develop a negative attitude towards the small tasks that need to be completed on a daily basis. At this point ask yourself, what is it you are working towards? What is that BIG goal you are striving to achieve? If your goals have been well thought out, and you have created a big enough WHY, this alone will motivate you enough to keep you focused and committed to achieving those smaller, less exciting goals.


Sounds simple, and depending on your personality type, you might actually receive a lot of personal enjoyment when you accomplish those smaller, boring tasks. Deep down you receive fulfilment and satisfaction in completing those smaller goals. If that sounds like you, great, and remember, that type of enjoyment will stay with you for a long time, allowing you to achieve those larger goals.

Having a ‘to do’ list of plenty of boring tasks is normal if you are building your own business, or climbing the corporate ladder; these types of tasks don’t go away. The trick is uncovering what motivates you internally to keep at them until you have reached that larger goal or perfected those new skills. Look for the enjoyment in the process, or get motivated by the bigger end results, whichever resonates most with you, go with it.

All the best in achieving your highest performance.


Image courtesy of Ambro at