One of those daysI am often quite excited about my work, though it may be heavy and i may end up working until 11 at night some nights trying to finish everything assigned...but then there are...

One of those days

I am often quite excited about my work, though it may be heavy and i may end up working until 11 at night some nights trying to finish everything assigned...
but then there are those days that we all have where one simply does not feel inspired to work hard and diligently despite that we know we have to
what do you find gets you excited about your less than favourite subject on days like these?

Asked on by dark0flame

9 Answers | Add Yours

pacorz's profile pic

pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

I take #8's suggestion one step further, and I try to break the distasteful task down into smaller components, actually writing a list of what I need to do to get to the finish line. Then I choose the thing that looks least painful and I do it first, and actually cross it off the list. This gets me started, and like everyone else I just plod on through.

auntlori's profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree with all of my colleagues. Truthfully, it is only the next thing--which I probably DO like--which gets me though the worst thing. The beauty of teaching (especially teaching reading, writing, speaking, listening) is that there is always something else ahead. Fortunately, I have very few things which I detest and many, many things I enjoy. 

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bigdreams1 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

When faced with dreaded or overwhelming tasks, I used to follow my father's (a military officer) advice and plough through the most unpleasant tasks first to show my "mettle" and get it done.  What I found, however, was that since I hated that thing so much...the task took forever to complete and after hours I still had so much to do.

Now, I start with an activity that is easy and that I can accomplish fairly quickly...so I can start checking things offf my list AND give myself an "inner" pat on the back for getting something done.  This decreases my pile of projects, and gives me a positive frame of mind to tackle the harder things to come.

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Setting the timetable is an excellent idea as Post #4 suggests. Challenge yourself to beat a previous time for another assignment in drudgery. You can even ask a friend to phone at a certain time when you think you should be finished;  in this way, you have a sense of obligation to your friend to finish the task. Another motivator is rewarding yourself with a favorite beverage or a candy bar, ice cream, etc. when you finish. 

While there is nothing to get you excited about a dreaded assignment, there is a sense of pride that you will feel for having disciplined yourself and completed an unsavory task.  And, developing self-discipline is always beneficial.  

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

As a teacher and former writer for a daily newspaper, deadlines have always been a part of my life. It's always easy to tackle the most interesting assignment and get it out of the way as quickly as possible; it's those challenging ones--whether boring, hated or just plain uninspired--that make it tough to always complete in a timely manner. In the end, I usually tell myself that it just has to get done (procrastination is not the answer), especially if grades or money is a consideration.

stolperia's profile pic

stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

All I can do when faced with "less than exciting" assignments or tasks (cleaning the toilets is equally unappealing) is to grit my teeth and remind myself that the sooner I get started, the sooner I can get it done and over with.  That doesn't make it any more enjoyable, but at least I can look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel when the work is behind me.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

One thing I do (and I agree with accessteacher -- it doesn't make me excited) is to write down what time it is whenever I start or stop doing the less than pleasant activity.  That serves two purposes.  First, it helps me ensure that I don't goof off.  It's like I'm "on the clock" and know I am supposed to be working.  Second, it lets me know how much I'm actually working.  Otherwise, it's too easy to do just a little and think you've done a lot.

It's not exciting, but it does feel good to look at the time sheet at the end of the day and think "wow, I really worked hard."

wannam's profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

There are two choices when you are uninspired and work has to get done. The first option is just to plow through. Force yourself to keep going until it is done. Of course, this way tends to make things take longer for me. I find myself looking off in space more than working. The thing that works for me is to find a way to reward myself. For instance, I really love book stores; if I have work to do that I don't want to do, I'll make a deal with myself that if I get it done I can make a trip to the bookstore. Some people reward themselves with smaller things along the way. I have a friend who really hates writing papers. She used to have a bowl of m&m's next to her keyboard and she rewarded herself with a piece of candy after each paragraph she wrote.
accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Nothing. If it is my "less than favourite subject" there is very little that can make me excited. But then life is about getting on with our work even when we don't like it and can't be bothered to do it. If I just stayed in bed on the days when I didn't really feel like going to work, I would have been fired years ago. Part of growing up is just knuckling down and getting on with the jobs that we have to do, irrespective of what we feel about them.

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