Tag: Tasks

Nothing is really work…

Nothing is really work unless you’d rather be doing something else. James Barrie. Peter Pan

This is a very unorthodox way of viewing work, but if one ponders long enough, the truth in the statement will liberate us from feeling like a bonded laborer.  The reality is that each one of us without exception would have experienced the pangs of having to do something that is unappealing, boring and perhaps unavoidable. No sooner that task is replaced with something that we are keen to do, appealing to us and exciting to our way of thinking, we enjoy the process. With rare exceptions, there is no task that is so engaging that one can happily embrace it for the rest of our lives. The trick in making our living worthwhile is in focusing fully on the task on hand as an opportunity to leverage our time, talent and our temperament. There is no better example than the cheerful way a mother goes about her chores despite the children making the most unreasonable demands on her.

Many times the work we enjoy doing best is ‘doing nothing’ because then there are no targets set, no deadlines to be met and the icing on the cake is the fact that it takes very little effort. However, sooner than later, we are racked with guilt that we have whiled away our time, the miserable feeling of productive time having being squandered away and our inherent sense of responsibility prick us. We then put our nose to the grind not willingly but more as an obligation to be discharged and the resultant effort becomes work that is unavoidable. Yet if can reorient our thought process to view the effort as harnessing our resources to do what is essential under the circumstances, the time spent would seem to fly and the entire process would seem to be enriching and rewarding. E.g. Very few of us enjoy the process of filing our income tax returns because we see it as ultimately ‘giving to Ceaser’ what belongs to us. However if we can see it as an opportunity to better plan our finances and taxes we would eagerly put our heart and soul into it and ensure we don’t have to worry about the taxman’s ‘Damocles Sword’.

How does one cope with tasks that one despises, finds repulsive and would rather avoid given half a chance? The strategy to cope with such a situation is to first be fully aware that each and every individual does face this dilemma. The second is to accept the reality as it exists and not to make any pretence of ignoring its existence. The third is to avoid procrastination and take the bull by its horns so that we tackle the issue rather than spend futile hours speculating on how to bypass the unavoidable reality. By this three pronged strategy, we reconcile to the reality that there is nothing else that we must tackle than what is staring at us. Once we begin the task with earnestness and fortitude, we would relentlessly pour our energies into  completing the task. The euphoria that we experience soon after we tackle our demons is the ecstasy of life.

Remember:  It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.  Pablo Picasso

Try this:

  1. Assuming you are shifting to your new house, list out what excites you about it and what are those activities related to the shifting process that you dread most ? How would you cope with those tasks that you dread but cannot avoid or pass it on to anyone else?
  2. What are those demons in life you would ideally love to avoid? (Here are a few pointers to help you reflect on various possibilities.) How would you use the learning fro, today’s post to tackle the demons and actually enjoy the process??
  • Exercise to lose weight
  • Making  a list of resolutions and following it faithfully
  • Carrying work home
  • Having to sacrifice your favorite TV show (being shown live) to accompany your child to his/her best friends most (boring in your opinion) party

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The easy way to tackle challenges

It’s so hard when I have to, and so easy when I want to.  ~Annie Gottlier

The challenge we face each day is to make each day a pleasurable one, an interesting one and one devoid of irritation, boredom and  dislike. The tough part of this is facing the reality that our daily routine is by and large well set and a good part of that routine is repetitive, stressful and / or  boring. The only consolation we can take is that the pattern is true for almost all of us and so we do not feel less privileged. Yet, when we see the enthusiasm and the energy and the euphoria that some people manage to display every single day, we wonder how they do it.

A clue to this can perhaps be got by examining our student days. If we simply looked back at our student days we would realise that we always favoured some subjects over others and we would happily spend a lot of time on those subjects. As for those subjects we disliked we tackled it with disdain, defiance and disinterest. In effect, when we were forced to study what we didn’t like, the effort was too hard and painful whereas what appealed to us was welcomed whole heartedly and enthusiastically. The secret then is to get to like what we have to do.

Is it possible for us to like what we have to do? Very few of us would like to take an injection for it is painful. Yet when we are left with no option we pluck courage from our deepest recess and go through the process. Perhaps the thought of getting relief or the fear of more painful consequences of not taking the injection spurs the person to voluntarily subject himself/ herself to the pain of an injection. Similarly the urge to score excellently or the fear of failure would have egged us on to study subjects we didn’t really fancy. In both examples there is a positive end result that actually directs our actions. If we can get some of this attitude to guide us in our daily life we would find life less stressful and perhaps even discover that in fact life is very invigorating. Overcoming our fear holds the key to beginning to like what we have to do.

It is not enough just to overcome our fear or reservations about things that we do not really relish but cannot avoid. To really want to relish whatever comes ones way it is essential that we have the right spirit, add a liberal dose of creativity to make things interesting, take occasional setbacks as experiences to learn from and be energetic enough never to get bogged down. Eg. A telephone operators job is perhaps one of the most repetitive and thank less jobs that can get boring, stressful and insipid. Yet some of the best telephone operators would sound as energetic at close of day as they would at the start of the day. Their success lies in visualising themselves as key cogs in the corporate communication wheel and also believing that they are the critical touch point for their corporate. The ultimate lesson is that one finds it easy to meet daily challenges if  one can  see oneself in the right perspective, as influencers in the spheres that we have to commit to, whether we forced into or otherwise.

Remember: There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly.  ~Publius Terentius Afer

 Try this:

  1. You have  met with an accident and have to be  confined to bed rest for 2 months. By nature you are an outdoor person. How will you cope with this forced home stay? What activities will you indulge in? How would ensure that you are being productive and not bored?
  2. You are basically a person who prefers the indoors. Due to a sudden crisis you are forced to accompany a group of 50 school children to 2 week outdoor activity camp. You are aware that the children are boisterous and need to be kep engaged all the time. You just dislike the whole assignment but have no choice. How will you ensure that the trip is a success?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Be focused

He who begins many things finishes but few. Italian proverb

Multitasking is the buzz word that sets the cat among the pigeons in this fast paced world. The ability to do manifold work of varied nature is considered a key differentiator when selecting a recruit and yet this can also be the bane of the work place. While people may be adept at a variety of tasks it is obvious that he/ she will be excellent in some tasks and reasonably good in others and perhaps passable in a few. The trouble though is that human beings are prone to mistakes of omission and commission and so the effectiveness of the multitasking can be just about average. More importantly, there is a tendency to start working on many tasks and leave almost all of it partially done by the time deadline has arrived.

Many a time we are under the mistaken delusion that without us nothing can happen and as a result we end up poking our finger in every pie. We enthusiastically jump into every new challenge with gusto and bravado, little realizing the commitment and complexities involved. No sooner we hit a road block our enthusiasm is dampened, our gusto is diminished and our self belief takes a beating. Thereafter we give only cursory attention to the task just enough to show involvement but not enough to take it to its logical end. There are some of us who just cannot say no and so go on taking new assignments. Many of what we take on is half hearted. The other tasks are not our forte and what is really our core strength can get marginalized in the process. At the end when we take stock of our achievements we are left frustrated that our potential has been wasted and there is very little left to show as achievement.

It is the procrastinators who have the biggest problem for they always have a perennially unending list of tasks all in various stages of urgencies that create a chaos in their lives. It is a catch 22 situation where their tardiness expands their list of tasks and the huge list of tasks in turn terrifies them and so the quality of output is dismal, leaving behind a trail of unfinished jobs. Finally there are those people who are terrified of delegating any tasks for fear of someone usurping them or taking credit for the tasks. The end result is that they end up getting involved in menial work, unproductive work, focus on jobs they are comfortable with and their critical jobs are then handled in a rush thereby leaving gaping holes in it and completing it in a shabby and unbefitting manner.

The way forward to ensure that we are not overburdened with useless, futile and unimportant jobs is in classifying all the jobs into jobs to be done by me, jobs to be delegated and sundry jobs that can be taken care of by others. This classification is tricky for there is a matter of judgment to be exercised and that comes out of experience and practice. It is also a good practice to focus on the toughest tasks and get it out of the way so that the anxiety and pressure associated with it is mitigated at the earliest. Our mind is then free to focus on other relatively easier tasks. Putting deadlines and breaking major tasks into smaller sub tasks can also help dramatically. Without deadlines tasks have no seriousness attached to it. The deadline also helps us focus more vigorously and push ourselves to completing whatever is on hand.

Remember: “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”  Alexander Graham Bell

Try this:

  1. Recreate the school science experiment by taking a piece of paper and using a magnifying glass to let the suns rays pass through in a concentrated form to ignite the paper. This will help us realize the power of focusing and also transport us to the good old days.
  2. Make it a practice to write down your thoughts and list out the tasks to be done. This means that you always carry a paper and pen and /or ensure they are always handy.  It would also help if you use a daily or the appointment function in your mobile phone more efficiently. To begin with make it a practice to make a birthday list of as many people as you can and wish them without fail. This is a routine but effective task that cannot be delegated.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com