Lot’s of tasks in e-commerce are very mundane. Processing orders, packing boxes, plugging in tracking numbers, and other daily tasks can become so repetitive that if you can feel like you’re wasting away. When I first started working in e-commerce these tasks took up 90% of my day, so I would go crazy out of boredom, these are my 3 top ways to not only fight the boredom, but to actually grow and learn while you do these repetitive tasks.
1. Listen to financial radio shows. Thank God for the fact that I was bored enough to start looking for financial radio shows, a topic that I couldn’t have cared less about when I first graduated college. I learned so much I didn’t know while I was packing boxes, that it has really changed my life. Even if you want to listen to ESPN radio or political talk shows, try to listen to a financial show instead, you may sacrifice some entertainment value for this, but it will grow on you, and you’ll benefit intellectually from it. The two specific shows I used to be hooked on were Dave Ramsey’s & Clark Howard’s shows. Many folks might consider this sector scammy, but I never had a clue until I started learning from these guys. I know I wasn’t alone because I’m constantly surprised by how little many folks my age or older know about how to treat their money.
2. Listen to podcasts. You can find podcasts on anything nowadays. The more I search the better they get, and I find myself longing for more tasks that I can do while listening and taking notes. Some of my favorite topics include small business, e-commerce, productivity, and SEO. Listening to these podcasts everyday gives me a constant stream of new ideas so that I’m never too stagnant. They are also typically hosted by people that are successful in their field, and I like to be influenced by these people so that I never set a lower bar than they do. If you’re lacking a real community of people that are passionate about the same things you are. Listening to podcasts will enable you to feel that community affect and learn from people with similar passions.
3. Measure your speed and improve. Everyone has heard the saying “What gets measured gets done”. Measuring your speed and error rate can dramatically improve your efficiency and also give you a new challenge at work. Once you’ve got the hang of something, figure out how to measure it and then keep records of your improvements. Getting faster and faster will come naturally and you’ll also discover unnecessary steps you take as you direct your attention towards improving your efficiency. I recently did this with an employee and just knowing the length of time it took him to do things helped him schedule his day. Additionally, if you’re the competitive type you can constantly be in a battle with your former self trying to get a better time. Just make sure you include the error rate in your metrics or you’ll start making too many mistakes which defeats the purpose of the exercise.
What sort of tricks do you have to keep yourself entertained? I think everyone’s looking for an edge so share your ideas in the comments!