Daily drainers and how to avoid them
So we all have those days. Days where we just seem to only be doing the stuff at work that we DON’T enjoy. The bits of our job that we just wish would go away or that someone else would do or that we just pretend aren’t really there. But they don’t go away, do they? So what can we do about them? Well, we see a few ways to make those ‘bits-of-our-job-that-we-don’t-really-like-and-we-wish-would-go-away-but-they-never-do’ a little bit more enjoyable. And more likely to actually get done.
1. Re-frame it.
So the question here is ‘can you find a way to actually make this enjoyable?’. Maybe use a strength you have (like involving other people, or learning a new skill, or ticking things off a list) to make the thing you don’t want to do a little bit more bearable. So, maybe I don’t enjoy public speaking but I have a speaking engagement coming up and I can’t avoid it. Ask yourself ‘How WILL I make this more enjoyable? Can I learn something new? Can I meet new people? Can I see it as a series of tasks that I will tick off one-by-one to make it a success?’ In the end, you’ll start to make the task look more fun and something you’re more in control of.
2. Sharing is caring.
You may not like an element of your job, but it’s a pretty sure thing that someone else will. We’re all different and messy and complicated which is something that makes being a human interesting. So make it your mission to find out what other people like doing at work. And find ways you can play their strengths in areas which don’t appeal so much to you. You may dread writing plans or doing budgeting spreadsheets or coming up with ‘engaging presentations’, but someone not so far away from you likes doing those things. Actually, LOVES doing those things. So find them, and get them involved.
3. Stop procrastinating.
OK, so those other techniques may not have worked and you may find you just have to put up and get on with it. But do it now. Don’t put it off, it will only be distracting and take up your headspace and then become an anxiety that gets in the way of you enjoying enjoyable stuff. So don’t pretend it away, do it sooner rather than later. And find ways of rewarding yourself along the way, ways of topping up your energy that work for you. A hot drink, a walk around, a chat to someone, 5 minutes of your favourite music, whatever works for you. To give yourself a pat on the back and congratulate yourself for just getting on and doing the thing. Oh, and watch this Ted talk on procrastination if you haven’t seen it, just because it’s really good and it might just help.
If you really want to avoid daily drainers, go and find your strengths, and your friends’ strengths too. And get them humming. Find out more here.
Dr Paul Brewerton, Co-founder and Joint MD, Strengths Partnership Ltd