Fixing a Boring Project

We’ve all been there before. You take a project that you know will be boring.

Maybe it pays good and you’re hurting for work.

Maybe you want to get your foot in the door with this client.

Or maybe you thought it was interesting at first but now it’s settled into a rut.

Whatever reason you have, it sucks. Not only are you bored but you can feel the creative energy getting sucked out of you.

Boredom is an emotion. (kinda)


You might not consciously trigger it but it is still under your control. Even if you are prone to being emotional, at the very least you can control your reaction to boredom.

And that’s how you can fix it.

I’ve found a few techniques that work for me to overcome boredom. They’ve worked in my software development, my writing, my marketing, and my business administrative work.

Find a passion, any passion

The easiest way to overcome boredom is to create a passion for some aspect of the project.

Think about it. The projects you loved. The ones where you dive into early in the morning and realize 5 minutes later that it’s nighttime…

These are projects you had a passion for.

This passion can come from different areas. A common one among developers is to solve tricky technical problems. Others are creating something of value for someone or even as simple as using a new and fun technology.

The important thing is that the area with this passion carried the rest of the project (much of which is boring).

So if you find yourself stuck with a boring project, try to find one area you can get passionate about. Even if that area is tiny and inconsequential to the rest of the project.

For example…

A detail oriented software developer might try one of the following.

  • Try to do strict “by the book” refactorings every day
  • Track your code quality metrics and try to improve them
  • Substitute a tool with something more cutting edge
  • Set precise estimates, track how you do, and refine them

The important thing is to recognize your bored and then try to get out.

Eric Davis