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Ailia's avatar

Does anyone have advice for doing tasks that are boring and tedious?

Asked by Ailia (1363 points ) November 25th, 2009

I have to write about literary elements and what they mean in this journal I am writing for my enligh class. The journal is over a book by Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and bored with this assignment. How can I make this task easier and a lot more fun without procrastinating?

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18 Answers

troubleinharlem's avatar

Maybe you can do it in small parts. As for making it fun… music?

Ailia's avatar

@troubleinharlem Well I’m doing that but its still pretty boring and difficult to manage. As for music, it just distracts me.

oscarpiggy's avatar

Music distracts me too i always find myself more interested in the music than the work!

oscarpiggy's avatar

I start a flash game up on your computer (with levels on it) and then play a level every time i do something useful.

Haleth's avatar

Heart of Darkness is actually a really good book. My English teacher made that lesson more interesting for my class by playing Apocalypse Now. How long is your journal assignment? It helps to know what you’re going to write about before you begin. “Literary elements and what they mean” is a pretty broad question, and if your teacher wrote that question, they phrased it in a pretty boring way. You could write about, say, tone- how the book keeps getting darker and more ominous as you go along. Just go through the book and find a few quotes that support that, then write about them. Diction, which means word choice, is easy enough to write about. It’s really simple to write, “Author X is using diction to show Y” and pick out some words that show your point. For Heart of Darkness, most of what you write will probably show that things are becoming scarier and less civilized.

It’s nerdy, but it also helps to focus on the sense of accomplishment you get from finishing something. I hate my math class, but I feel really good after finishing a bunch of math work. You can also think of what you’re doing as not boring- try to feel interested in it instead of resisting it, and it actually does get easier.

Ailia's avatar

@Haleth Thats great advice but it doesn’t help me. I phrased the question wrong, so its my fault. What I am asking for help on is not about writing an essay, those are easy. What I have to do is write a little over 40 pages in my, dialectic by the way, journal over literary elements from that book. So I am trying not to procrastinate but yet at the same time not be so overwhelmed and bored. Any suggestions?

Haleth's avatar

You should form a study group with some people from your class and meet to work on this. You can bounce ideas off each other, and it’s easier to not be distracted if you work with other people. How long do you have to work on this assignment? You should also divide it up into smaller segments and treat each of those as an individual homework assignment, because that’s less overwhelming.

dpworkin's avatar

I’m sorry you are bored by one of the novelistic gems of the century.

mowens's avatar

Yeah. Don’t do them.

Ailia's avatar

@Haleth Thats a good idea, but none of my friends or the people I know have this assignment so that wouldn’t really work. My assignment is due next friday. @pdworkin Its not that the book itself is boring, its looking for literary elements throughout the whole book that is boring. Especially when you have to write over 40 pages about them.

turtlegrrrl's avatar

Oooooooooh. I didn’t like Conrad either.
I always put on classical or instrumental music when I have to write something long or math-related (words distract me). Also, so I don’t put it off, which I’m bad about, I just make myself jump right in and try to get it over with. It may help you to do a chapter at a time with breaks in between.
Another trick of mine is reminding myself that everyone I meet (and thus, everyone’s ideas that I read) knows something useful that I don’t, so I try to find out what it is. That way I get something out of everything.
Treat yourself afterward as an incentive and reward if it helps. Good luck!

Anonymous523's avatar

Make sure to take small breaks every hour or two. Most importantly, DO NOT STRESS TOO MUCH OVER IT!

Darwin's avatar

My daughter turned her most recent term paper into a rap. She covered all the points her teacher wanted but had fun writing it, plus she still got an A.

Can you be creative about how you express these literary elements?

Otherwise, do what many professional writers do: every day write for a set amount of time, say 30 minutes. Then stop. Start over the next day.

bea2345's avatar

There are these dry periods, when a task becomes enormously boring and complicated because it is boring. There is little you can do except either a, drop the whole project or (b), slog through it. If the latter, there comes a stage, if the task is big enough, when the results justify the effort. Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. ~Newt Gingrich. – painted on the wall of the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain.

KatawaGrey's avatar

As you are writing, speak out loud in an over exaggerated accent. It sounds silly, but it works. You’ll be so interested in what you are saying that you’ll want to write more.

Shegrin's avatar

Write your journal entries in the same voice as the main character of the book. Incorporate the literary elements into situations in the story.
Tie it all together at the end as your entries descend into madness.

filmfann's avatar

The DVD of Apocalypse Now has the original radio version of Heart of Darkness, by Orson Welles. Amazing stuff, that.

YARNLADY's avatar

Just write a few sentences several times a day

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