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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Clutterbugs: How To Do a Job You Hate

I'm at work today and it's kind of a slow day, so I am catching up on my most hated task - FILING! I don't know why I dislike filing so much, but I always have and that isn't likely to change soon.


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So the question is, how do you approach a task you really dislike doing?

- Put it off and hope it chokes and dies! (Appealing, but not likely)

- Pay someone to do it for you (outsource it to India??)

- Foist it off on someone who doesn't mind doing it, or trade a job someone else hates that you don't mind doing. I do this one a lot around the house. There are some jobs that people like and some they don't. I will take dishes over mopping every time, for example.

- Do a little every day so it doesn't pile up to a big ugly job

- Simplify the task so you can get it out of the way quickly

- Offer yourself a reward for doing it (hey, this works on my kids!).

- Get someone to do it with you so you can at least have some company while doing it.

For filing, I take an approach that hits most of these points. First of all, I do put it off for as long as I can get away with it. It's not a critical part of my job, so I can do that without too much guilt and that's better for me than having to face it every week or so. I usually can fit about 3 months worth of work into my desk storage before I really feel like I need to clear it out and move it to my filing cabinet.

I'm rarely able to foist it off on someone, but I have managed to a couple of times. There's been a few times when my kids were in the office and I was able to bribe them into doing it for me. Also, my co-worker doesn't mind filing, so sometimes I can trade a job with her or at least get her to help me with it so I've got someone to talk to.

Also, I have simplified the job so it is MUCH easier and quicker to do. I used to sort all my invoices by area code and month, and it would take me about 3-4 hours to do. Then I realized that I only dig into my files about half a dozen times a year, so it's not really worth the time and effort to sort them so much. Now, I just sort them by the 1st number in the area code (all the 2's, 3's, 4's, etc.) and dump them into a big folder. So if I need to find something in the 208 area code, I only have to dig through one folder and maybe 75 invoices to find it. Now the job only takes me about 2 hours and everything fits in one drawer, so it's easier to find things.

What job do you hate that you end up putting off all the time? What can you do to make it easier?



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2 comments:

hlc

Hi, Adrian-- just found your blog! I totally hate to clean the bathrooms. Hate. It. So I've found that it is easier if I leave a canister of those Clorox wipes under every sink so that a few times a week, I can wipe everything down super quick and keep it from getting totally disgusting. :)

Erica

Good tips! I used to be in debate, and now I'm not really into filing. I guess I did soo much of it in HS, but doing a little bit, or setting up a good system that can just be plugged into works!

Thanks for stopping by my site and commenting! I'm glad you learned a lot of lessons at Evo too!

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