I recently opened up to you guys and allowed you to ask me anything you want. This wasn’t some ego trip so that I could claim guru status, but I noticed that the majority of times people emailed me, they apologised in advance for ‘wasting my time’.
Therefore, I wanted to make it clear that people shouldn’t feel bad for asking me questions, and the post was a chance for people to do so. One thing that surprised me was the number of comments and emails I received about how to enjoy things that you don’t. How to get through a chore you hate but have no choice but to carry on doing.
More specifically, people wanted to know how they could get passionate about the jobs they hated turning up to every Monday morning. Since leaving my job 8 months ago and only working on projects I love, my immediate response was to advise these people to get another job / task.
Of course, having worked in the rat race for 4 years, I should know that isn’t the easiest thing to do. So, I thought about it some more, and came across three strategies to help you bring passion into jobs that you dread or simply bore you to death.
After all, if you can’t get out of a situation, you can at least make the most of it.
Just Work for Two Minutes
The hardest part about doing any job or chore, is usually the mental battle before even starting on it. Knowing you’re about to fill up the sink and wash dishes, getting ready for work in the morning before the gruelling 9-5 or just procrastinating over the task which came to mind when you read the title of this post.
Something that helps me greatly, and research has proven to be effective, is to simply work on something for two minutes. That’s it. The next 8 hours might be hard, but surely you can do something for two minutes? You see, it’s nothing more than our thoughts that make a task hard or boring, and if you can just get started on something, it becomes so much easier.
Just start on that proposal. Just start on that design. Just start on writing that document. Even if you start it and actually stop two minutes later, you’ll likely suffer from a nagging feeling that something isn’t quite complete yet, and be motivated to finish it off.
It’s probably a surprise to most people that whilst the majority of my work day is spent writing in some form, I used to absolutely hate it. I couldn’t stand English lessons and loathed having written coursework to take home. These days, I get passionate about my writing, but it didn’t used to be that way, and that’s where my ‘time yourself’ idea comes from.
Whatever it is you’re dreading or bores you to death, see how quickly you can complete it. Literally look at your watch or computer clock and note down the time. Then, get on with the task as quickly as possible, and see how you do. I’ve found this small injection of fun actually makes me much more productive and I enjoy seeing if I can beat the challenge on subsequent days.
Of course, don’t substitute quality for quantity, but you’ll find this method won’t necessarily lower your performance, just lower your focus on distractions.
Focus on the Outcome
I rarely recommend disregarding the process and focusing on end results, but if it helps you get through the day, then by all means use it. One person who commented said that they had three months left of a job that they hated with a passion, and wanted help getting through the hard times.
They made it very clear that there was no way out and they would have to continue to work. My advice, in this case, was for this particular person to focus on the reason they were there in the first place, and use that as their motivation to get through the day.
Are you doing it for the money? Focus on what you’ll spend it on.
Are you doing it for qualifications? Think about how they will help shape your future.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what we have to do that we forget why we do it in the first place. It’s also so easy to get caught up in the misery of actual tasks we don’t know how to get that task done and enjoy it at the same time.
By incorporating ideas like timing yourself, working for just a few minutes and focusing on why you’re doing what you’re doing, you’ll start to incorporate passion into the boring jobs of your work. If you have your own tips for injecting passion into jobs that fill you with misery, I would love to hear them in the comments!
P.S. I launched a new website this week called ViperChill. It is about Viral Marketing and the main focus is helping you build successful websites online that help you make money and quit your day job. The reason the slogan is about Viral Marketing is because the site aims to help you create remarkable websites that people naturally want to talk about. Make sure you sign up to the RSS feed to get future updates for free.