Let’s face it! Not everything you do is going to be super exciting. You are an intern and whilst you will get some juicy stuff, there will be the odd less than thrilling task.
Here is intern avenue’s top tips for surviving these tasks and scoring brownie points:
1. Whatever you do, don’t look bored.
Your boss definitely knows the task is boring. He or she was probably sidled it when they were interning back in the days of yore. You don’t need to let them know via exasperated noises that you’d rather be doing anything else. The way you handle the less thrilling aspects of your work is really important. Major brownie points lay in wait for you if you handle this in the right way…
2. Attitude is everything.
You’ll be surprised at how far a little positivity will take you. Don’t approach a task with foreboding dread. Approach it with focused determination. The dread will slow you down, and a bad attitude will ONLY make the situation worse. We promise you that one. Showing a positive and engaged attitude to boring task will also show your boss you’re mature and will to work hard for the role you’re in. One you’ve got your attitude in check, it’s now time to figure out a game plan for said dreadful task…
3. Visualise the bigger picture.
If you isolate the task and look at it on its own, it can seem pretty useless. The world is not going to fall apart if you don’t scan this document 30 times. But zoom out from that scope and what you’ll see is a larger picture where like an ant in an ant hill or a bee in its hive, every contribution you make, no matter how small, has a positive effect on the larger organisation. If you scan the document than 30 people get to read valuable information that will then allow them to do something better, bring in more revenue and maybe lead to the company giving you a raise. You’re essentially funding your future convertible Lamborghini – think about that!
4. Draw a “mind map.”
This doesn’t work with all tasks – there is only so many ways to make a cup of coffee – but 9 out of 10 times there is usually a more creative way to go about working through something tedious. Especially if doing it over and over again is starting to make you draw a blank. Get a sheet of white paper in front of you, and work on approaching the task in a new way. Use mind maps, sketch out a plan, use visual cues. It will not only give you a fresh perspective, but it has the potential to make the task a little more fun.
5. Plug in to your favourite tracks.
When I have a bad day, or feel leaden weights on my feet on the walk to work, I have one key solution: I blast my power ballad. Everyone has one (it’s true, you just need to find it). And to be honest, this song or its ilke can transform any boring task into an inspirational 5 minute period of my day. Use music, of any kind which you know energises you, to get you through the things you would rather not do. High tempo if you need to charge through something quickly, or maybe a full length album to get you through an hour of work.
6. Don’t go it alone
Delegating a portion of your mundane work can halve the workload and the time spent doing it. Doing things in the company of someone else can make you more motivated and keep you focused. Find someone else who has a free moment and work through the task together. You’ll be surprised – people tend to be quite happy to lend a hand if they have the time. You just have to make sure you go about it in the right way. The Guardian has a great guide to how to ask for help at work here.