In college and in high school, you are guaranteed to encounter one or more classes which don’t really interest you. “Uggghhhh…I don’t even like math, why am I even taking this class!”. Getting work done for these courses stinks, I know. Truth is, there is it can be much less painful to complete assignments once you have some super-simple practices and mindsets in place.
The very first thing you’re going to want to do when thinking about working on any un-interesting assignment is to create a reward for yourself for working. By giving yourself a reward, you build incentive to spent time cranking out school work. So the next time you feel disgusted with your shool work, decide on a personal treat…then work to earn and enjoy that treat!
For example, I personally never enjoyed completing or doing homework and the readings for my philosophy class. It was such a drain :(.
So, what I would do was during the middle of the day, I’d find a good chunk of time to work on my philosophy tasks. Then during the evening, I’d reward myself with an episode of the current Netflix series I was watching (usually House of Cards).
The rewards you set for yourself could be short or long term rewards. If you’re really feeling really un-motivated to work set a small block of time to work, set a small reward to give yourself afterward. Some things you could do would be do nothing but work on homework for 20 minutes, then allow yourself to go and enjoy your favorite snack food. If it’s going to be a long day with several hours of work, give yourself a bigger boost with a more substantial reward in the evening. Allow yourself to eat a delicious dinner with friends, or go see a new movie. Whatever tickles your fancy.
Having any sort of work discipline is also imperative to getting your work done for those classes you hate. If you have the mindset of starting work early and working on it often…you will be well on your way to getting your school tasks done well and on time. For uninteresting classes, it’s so so tough to pull yourself together and set some time to do work. Doing schoolwork when you “feel” like doing school work is not an effective way to get things done. You have to put just a little force onto yourself to finish that essay or complete that problem set. Saying “I know I don’t enjoy doing this, but I’m going to work on it anyway since I have time” is the mindset you want to shoot for. This will ensure your actively caught up with class work and will save you added stress of doing work you despise last minute. If you follow Cal Newport’s technique of starting assignments the day they’re assigned and working on them consistently until the due date; you’ll produce a higher quality work output with less stress.
The final thing I have to add about making ‘boring’, ‘tedious’, ‘uninteresting’ – whatever you want to call it – school work done is to treat work as process oriented. This is one big reasons most students don’t invest the time into studying -they don’t see the results or success of taking 2 hours to revise and review for the exam. The sense of accomplishment comes later down the road -not minute to minute when you’re studying. Instead, if you know you want to do well on your next assignment, setting a process goal of working on it for an hour every day up until the due date will ensure that you have enough time to get your project done well and on time by the due date.
An added benefit to process oriented goals is that every minute you spend diligently working you feel like you’re making progress toward you process goals and your end goal.
In summary: try using rewards to get you motivated to get the momentum to start working, and then use process-oriented goals to keep you going!
You’ll be unstoppable! 🙂