10 Ways to Find Joy in Mundane, Boring Tasks

By Nikki Harper

Staff Writer for Wake Up World

Let’s be honest: some parts of life are pretty boring. Household chores, for example, for most people, are irritating and tedious. Even if you love your job, the more mundane aspects of it will typically find you sighing and procrastinating.

From your working life to your family life, everyone has a set of regular tasks they must do but for which they really struggle to work up any enthusiasm. We may still do them, but probably resentfully. Or we may not do them at all, and they slip further and further down the to-do list until they take up so much headspace that they turn into double the problem they once were.


It doesn’t have to be that way though.

There are many easy, simple ways to find joy in the most mundane and boring of tasks. Some of them are practical hacks, some of them are more of a mindset shift, but all of them will help you power through those routine jobs with less stress and more enjoyment.

6 Easy Ways to Handle a Boring Task

1 Do It First

Our natural instinct is to put off the jobs we don’t enjoy doing, while we focus on things which we think are more fun or more worthwhile or more important, or ideally all three. Nobody’s doing to suggest that sorting the laundry is more fun or more important than working on your business strategy or taking your kids out to play, but it is necessary, and if you leave it until last, all the time, then you’ll create extra work for yourself. If something is reasonably quick to do and can physically be done first, do it first. You know you’re still going to do the important/worthwhile/fun stuff later, because you’ll make sure you do. So, get the mundane task you’re dreading out of the way.

2 Reward Yourself When You’re Done

If you’re having to do something you really hate doing, motivate yourself with a reward at the end of the process – and don’t cheat! It may sound cheesy, but self-rewards do tend to work. If you really don’t want to clean the bathroom, the prospect of 20 minutes doing something you love afterwards may just make the difference.

3 Combine It with Something You Do Want to Do

Get your multi-tasking hat on. Can you do the dishes while you listen to a podcast? Can you do your grocery shopping at the same time as upping your daily step count? It’s not always possible to combine a boring task with something more fun, especially if the boring task takes a lot of mental or physical work or focus – but it’s sometimes more possible than you think.

4 Make a Game of It

Feeling competitive? Why not set a timer and see how fast you can power through your dreaded task? Make a note of it and see if you can beat yourself next time round. Or maybe sing while you’re doing the vacuuming and see if you can out-sing the noise of the vacuum. How about inventing imaginary characters in your head while you sort clothes? Use your imagination and deliberately seek the fun in whatever you’re doing. It might help to imagine that you have to persuade a young child to do it – how would you make it more fun for them? And why can’t that be fun for you instead?

5 Get Some Company

The chores you hate will fly by faster if you have some company. Get together with a close friend and organize a joint junk clearing session, for example, first in your home and then in hers. Can you do your grocery shopping while catching up with a friend or relative? Or take the kids shopping with you and turn it into a family event.

6 Up Your Game

Sometimes we tend to rush through tasks we hate, completing them to the bare minimum level necessary. But what if you instead do the task to the absolute best of your ability? Challenge yourself to do it better or more thoroughly than usual and enjoy the sense of satisfaction you’ll get when you’re done.

4 Ways to Change Your Mindset to Enjoy Boring Tasks

While the above suggestions are practical tweaks which can make a mundane task more enjoyable, for long-term success at this, you’ll need a change of mindset. Here’s how:

1 Focus on the Bigger Picture

There’s always a bigger reason behind every boring task. There’s a reason you’re doing the laundry – because you want yourself and your loved ones to have nice clothes. There’s a reason you’re doing the dishes – to maintain good hygiene and keep everyone healthy. There’s a reason you’re filing your paperwork – to make it easier for your business to succeed without wasting time looking for random information. And there’s a reason you’re visiting Great Aunt Ethel – to show her that she is not forgotten and to set an example to your kids about how we treat vulnerable people. By focusing on the ‘why’ you’re doing something, it suddenly becomes much more meaningful and worthwhile as a task.

2 Be Grateful

Gratitude has a key role to play in how we handle mundane tasks. Yes, it’s boring having to do your accounts, but aren’t you lucky that you’re your own boss, earning enough income to need to do this? Housework is tedious, but we’re all grateful that we have a home that needs to be kept clean, and somewhere safe for our families to live. Preparing a meal may be a tedious necessity to many, but how fortunate are we that we don’t have to wonder where the next meal is coming from? Turn your boring, unloved tasks around by understanding and acknowledging that you’re lucky they’re on your to-do list.

3 Practice Mindfulness

Try to be in the moment when you’re doing your most tedious chores. For example, when you’re folding and putting away laundry, be aware of the textures of the fabrics, the smell, the weight of the clothes in your hand, the steps you take between the pile of clothes and the closet. When you’re doing dishes, watch the patterns in the bubbles and pay attention to the marks and patterns on the crockery and in the water. Just the simple act of deciding to be consciously present can turn a tedious task into a wonderful discovery.

4 Learn the Value of Normality

A key way to embrace boring, routine, mundane tasks is to appreciate ‘normal’. Your normal daily and weekly routine, your normal way of life, your normal existence. If something were to happen which pulled that out from under your feet – if you were to lose your home to a fire or a flood, for example – you would miss ‘normal’ within minutes or hours. You would long then to be doing the dishes or vacuuming the floor or moaning at the kids to pick up their toys. ‘Normal’ is something we usually don’t fully appreciate until it’s gone – so appreciate it now, while you have it, and find a smile as you go about your ‘normal’, necessary routines.

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About the author:

Nikki Harper is a spiritualist writer, astrologer, and editor for Wake Up World. She writes about divination, astrology, mediumship and spirituality at Questionology: Astrology and Divination For the Modern World where you can also find out more about her work as a freelance astrologer and her mind-body-spirit writing and editing services. Nikki also runs a spiritualist centre in North Lincs, UK, hosting weekly mediumship demonstrations and a wide range of spiritual development courses and workshops.

Say hi at Questionology.co.uk or on Facebook.