Sometimes work feels like a drag. You want to be more productive and suddenly your life turns into a series of to-do lists. You have to measure success by how much you have accomplished. You even determine how happy you allow yourself to be by how much you’ve gotten done in the day. When this occurs, work turns into a chore. You don’t enjoy the work, you just have to do it so it can be finished. Then you can feel good, right? We spend a lot of time trying to find ways to be more productive. To do things faster, better, cheaper and spend our time more effectively. But instead of just doing more in less time, maybe we should focus on actually enjoying the work we’re doing instead. Here are some tips which can be helpful.
- When you feel like working, work. When you don’t, don’t. Don’t over complicate things.
- Do, don’t think. Just do, stop thinking about it. Fail, make corrections later.
- Remove hidden roadblocks. What’s making you avoid working? What’s making your work seem like burden rather than joyful? It might have something to do with your beliefs about yourself. Maybe you believe you’re not good enough, smart enough or don’t have enough experience. Question your beliefs about what you can and can’t do.
- Only do your best, not the most perfect. Work can easily become a chore when you’re trying to constantly be perfect.
- Act from your gut. When you think you have a great idea, believe it. Follow it. Chase it until you’re out of breath and can barely hold yourself up. Because if you don’t trust yourself, you’ll regret it later. The best way to live is to follow your intuition and trust life. If nothing else, trust yourself. Because if you can’t trust yourself, how can you trust your mistrust? That’s not very smart, is it?
- Focus on what matters. Our minds are constantly pulling us in different directions. We have to wash the cat, buy more apple cinnamon oatmeal, finish writing that resignation letter to your no-longer-boss at your dead-end job, and all sorts of other things. We have a tendency to follow what’s urgent instead of what’s important. In order to get the important things done, we have to be ruthless at removing distractions. If it takes bringing a laptop (or notepad) to a cafe to write your grandiose novel, then do that. Avoid the vacuum of minutiae urgency. Remove all distractions so you can focus on the important things. Better to spend 4 hours working on an important project, than 4 hours spinning your wheels and scratching your head trying to figure out what you did today.
- Refuse to do what you don’t want to do. If you often avoid working because you’re trying to do things you think you “should do”, then you are being given a big clue. If your mind says: “I think I should read more because it will make me smarter.”, or “I think I should buy new clothes because it will make me cooler.”, or “I think I should work on this project because it will be good for my resume.”, then you’re in a trap. Forget what you (or other people) think you should do (except maybe paying your rent). Do what you want to do. Other people will understand. In fact, they’ll probably envy you.