Today we will keep building on what we’ve already learned about continuous rewards, while zooming in even further on how to deal with the boring tasks we sometimes need to tackle.

Things that cause discomfort or boredom are often perceived as unnecessary or even threatening activities, which soon leads to us doing something else instead. Instead of forcing yourself to finish something that feels altogether unpleasant you can use rewards to boost yourself. Tasks we avoid can be associated with an activity that feels rewarding, in order to make them more appealing. This principle is called fusing, a term coined by Henry Murray, professor of psychology at Harvard University. By combining long term achievements with something that provides an immediate reward our work becomes more appealing, which in turn lessens the risk of procrastination.

You probably already apply the concept of fusing by combining things you need to get done with something you enjoy. It could be things like listening to music while you work, studying for your driver’s license at a nice café or working out with a good friend.

Now take a moment to think about today’s tasks. Are there any that feel especially boring? How can you apply fusing to make those tasks a bit more enjoyable?

Having a hard time coming up with music to make work a bit more rewarding? How about the latest album by Toro Y Moi.