I hate taking out the trash. That was one of my first chores as a child. I dreaded it like final exams.
I would wait until the trash piled over the top or my mom demanding I take action.
In the mundane, the purpose can be found, however easily it was lost at first.
Bringing back my thoughts to the job’s purpose (or it’s “why”) brings meaning and a new twist on the activity.
I value my wife beyond all people. She means more to me than any other person on this planet. Because I value her so much, I value her desires and dreams.
She likes a clean house. So do I. In order to keep our house tidy, I have to take out the trash.
Now, that’s fairly boring logic. What if it was applied to my everyday thinking?
Let’s face the facts, when a lousy task is given to us, we dread it, procrastinate, complain.
Instead of complaining, try to bring your mind to the why. Instead of focusing on all the reasons why your mundane job is lousy, think on the value it provides to someone else.
I tried this exercise this week. It honestly put a step in my walk.
Because this is what normally happens:
Brain: “shoot, the trash is full. I have to go outside, in the frigid air, and drag this stupid bag to the alley”
Chooses to wait til tomorrow
Next day- Brain: “This trash is really getting bad. I should take it out”
Chooses once again to wait
3 days later – Brain: “Crap. Alright. Fine. I’ll take it out”
Chooses to place in the room that leads to the outside
The next day – Brain: “Ok, enough is enough”
Finally, takes out the trash
Here’s my own story of applying this principle (last night)…
Brain: “The trash is full. Megan would be really happy if I got rid of this trash. I’ll take it out now”
Chooses to do a chore with delight
Because my why was established before doing the thankless mundane chore, I acted quickly to do this.
I call this a Dojo Productivity hack:
Redefining your purpose
I’m going to try this on doing my shownotes for podcast episodes.
You’ve probably heard me complain on previous episodes that I dislike writing shownotes.
I dislike shownotes because they are mundane tasks. I don’t see a great benefit to them,
but I need to put something on a post because without them the post would look barren.
Redefine the purpose:
These posts need to be done because they serve a purpose: Listeners follow along, find out what the show contains and decide whether they want to listen or not.
My “why” for shownotes is to serve you, my readers/listeners. You are the greatest group of individuals I know. Just thinking that way makes me want to improve
my writing ability or desire to hire someone to do a better job than I can.