Through the years, I have collected tips, tactics, and hacks that help me get through periods of time where I’m dreading some certain work. Because if we are going to be honest, even if you LOVE your job (and I do!), there are occasionally projects or situations that creep up where we dread even going to work as a result of the task that lies ahead.
You know we all have some certain types of task that we dread right? And when we try to seek help to how they can be tackled, our managers will just say “treat them as your first”, like it’s that easy.
This dreadful tasks can come in different forms; it may be an assignment you were hoping to avoid, an issue you don’t feel like tackling or a presentation you are nervy about.
There is certainly one work that we all dread so much but we know we must do. However, we just don’t look forward to it.
In any case, we are probably making it a whole lot worse avoiding the work because no matter how hard we strive to play the defensive role we probably don’t have any other choice than to get it done anyway.
So what is the way out? The secret to doing work we don’t enjoy is to attack it like a problem says Tom Catalini.
By attacking the problem–taking it head on, we get power over it. We deny the problem the advantage of looming over us while we loath it.
We come out of hiding. We gain strength. We position for the win.
Here’s how to do that.
I was listening to a presentation on similar subject matter from a colleague sometimes ago while explaining he was how one can take up a dread task and flip into something enjoyable. And he likens it to “eating your frog”, I was like yuck! What an analogy, you may wonder do one have to feel like eating a frog to get a dread job done? The answer is perspective. No task is too small and none is too big to handle, it’s just how we view it in our mind.
It’s all about perspective.
But I’m not talking about shifting mental attitude and then getting to work.
I’m talking about getting to work and allowing that to start to shift your attitude.
Like you, I get frustrated by work I don’t want to do. I dread it.
More accurately, I dread the idea of it. Because once I get rolling, the work is less dreadful.
Because it’s happening. I’m making progress. I can see it more clearly because my hands are dirty with it.
Too often we forget that the task is really quite simple. Just as simple as eating the frog with Egusi soup.
“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.”– Lewis Carroll
Beat the dread
Just like the ‘Monday Blues’ — a set of negative emotions that many people get at the beginning of the workweek, which symbolizes a feeling of the work week looming large, casting a shadow on the remainder of the weekend. But no matter what the feeling is, you still get to work right? Whether by hook or by crook so it is for dread work. We have to do it one way or the other. And to get it done, you need to beat the dread!
There are many reason why we dread certain tasks, it maybe as a result of lack of self-confidence. Or annoyance at the drudgery we expect. It could be any number of reasons why we dread the work.
But you know what? It doesn’t matter. Action is the antidote. Get on it, beat the dread.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”– Arthur Ashe
Procrastination, delay, excuses, worry…. all these are not helpful.
They are all mind games.
Rather than psych yourself out, start.
Because the start is what gets you going. And it is what removes the dread.
Rather than dread what might happen or what it might be like, find recourse in the doing.
· By doing, you learn that it isn’t so bad.
· By doing, you start to actually make progress.
· By doing, you get experience (which is almost never as bad as you thought it was going to be).
The magic of getting started in adverse conditions. The thing is, it’s easier to lean in and get working than you think.
· Sit in a quiet place and read the document.
· Spend some time Google researching the issue.
· Call up a colleague who has experience in this area.
Those are all simple things you can do right now to get started.
Big momentum comes from simple, humble steps. So don’t focus on the giant high-level maneuvers.
Take one small step. And then another. Soon you’ll be going ‘round the bend.
“Start me up, and I’ll never stop.” — Mick Jagger
Now that you’ve begun, the magic can start to happen. You can start to turn your little lemon into some lemonade. Because here is where the real attitude change can happen.
Benjamin Franklin said and I quote “The things which hurt, instruct.”
The dread, the mundane, the not-as-bad-as-I-thought-it-would-be all have one remarkable thing to offer–the chance to learn.
You can observe, immerse, and contemplate. You can gain knowledge, insight, and experience in some new way even if the task is dreary.
Of course, this is the trick to making it not so dreary.
And to finding opportunity.
“Adversity can harden you. Or it can loosen you up and make you better–if you let it”– Ryan Holiday
For many people, work dread feeling sets in as a result of lack of passion for their job. It starts with a sinking feeling in your stomach. If you don’t catch the feeling and squash it immediately, anxiety can build like an out-of-control freight train. And then a very simple task that can be completed within a short period of time becomes a procrastinated assignment. The good news is that you have the power to change that mindset by making a series of attempts to treat your dread tasks with the tips given above.
Thanks for reading.
Article written by Lanre Yusuf, Vice President Business Operations at Techspecialist Consulting Limited