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Making Dull Tasks Fun

As most of us have learned, there are necessary tasks in life and business – often recurring – that are not much fun. Allowing for the fact that some of us like specific tasks that others don’t, there are still plenty of things each of us does not really want to do. In the RIA world, this often will involve compliance and administrative tasks such as maintaining the advertising log, performing data backups, sending the annual privacy policy notices and the like. If you do not have a competent assistant or colleague to delegate these jobs to, it is going to take time away from those aspects of the business you enjoy.

Even if you have trained a competent person to handle such tasks, there are bound to be other things that YOU need to handle and fall into this category of uninteresting, unrewarding, undesired but still must be done. So what do you do to make the task less of a pain?

One approach that saves a great deal is to not fall far behind on such tasks. Since you really do not like them, the problem is that much more severe and painful when you have months’ worth of things to catch up on. So get organized and set a time for these tasks – each week or month – when you know you will get them done, using a template or spreadsheet or other device to simplify the work. Then make sure your schedule’s next event is a task you find particularly rewarding, whether it is meeting clients, networking or playing golf. With that reward in mind, getting through the less desired task is easier and eventually you may find yourself looking forward to it because of the reward that follows.

Make the task a challenge or game – to get it done faster, better, easier – which will engage you more and make completion of the task a reward in and of itself. Good organization and planning helps here as does the simple notion of doing things incrementally. As the saying goes, the longest journey begins with a single step. So, too, does any task, whether it is one you enjoy or not.  If you decide to make that task a challenge or entertainment, you will find it easier to do and, as always, can then move on to something more desirable. 

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