a blog by Liz Johnston… just a 20-something PR girl trying to find her way

Mundane tasks are a part of life; you can’t escape them. And while what we consider to be mundane might not be the same for all, we can, however, relate to the feeling of “my brain is going to implode if I look at this one more time.” We may try to procrastinate, leaving the most tedious tasks for the end of the day, but that is a mistake. There’s a good chance it won’t get done. But at times, that is my job as the intern, tackle the tedious, mundane tasks that no one else in the office wants to deal with. It’s not fun, but it needs to be done. Already, within my first few weeks at my internship, I have been handed a few of these tasks and I’ve discovered some tricks to help ease the boredom.

  1. Plan and organize the task. I love organizing, I really do. I literally feel a sense of giddiness when it’s time to tackle a messy closet. However, organization provides more than just a weird sense of joy for myself, it also provides a sense of meaning to every step of your task. Take my current job of sending out 100+ pairs of shoes, each unique in style, size and color, and each destined for individual media contacts. Each shoe box has to be unpacked from the shipping box and repacked into an individual box, all of different sizes. But with a plan and my organized spreadsheet of every shoe received, I think I got it!
  2. Break-up the task into manageable parts. Many of my intern projects involve media lists, a common task in the public relations industry. I’m used to spending huge chunks of time sitting at my desk, scanning through listed media contacts, but blogs are a whole new beast. I have been asked to work on updating the “beer blogger list.” Do you know how many beer blogs there are?! Too many. And when I am trying to narrow the search to only 5 regions of the country, looking a brew-this and beer-that from who knows where, the feeling of an imploding brain creeps in quite quickly. My tip: tackle the task in two-hour intervals. I’ve been using a “Complete Beer Blogger List” I found on the internet, and I’ve found it helpful to move through the alphabet one letter at a time. Pieces make this manageable.
  3. Turn it into a game. Challenge yourself. Set yourself a goal and  time period to complete it in – then race yourself! I know it sounds a little like something a 5-year old with a toy race car would do, but it works! We all need a little competition in our lives, its healthy, but can be hard to find when sitting at a computer all day. However, be weary of rushing through a task if it means your rushing through your work.
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Comments on: "Making the Mundane, Not So Mundane" (1)

  1. I’m right there with you on the organizing stuff. I love it too,and it makes things so much easier – especially if you make a list so you have to check things off. That sense of meaning that each step gets is then magnified, when you cross it off the list. Also, your two hour interval strategy is a good idea. It breaks it down and then it doesn’t seem so daunting.

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