Not everyone is in a position to do inspiring work or be in a job they love. And while it’s easy for some motivational gurus to suggest you ought to just quit if you’re not enjoying your work, and to pursue your passion or purpose in life, what if your passion in life won’t pay the bills and what if you haven’t discovered a higher ‘purpose’ in life other than to be who you are and do what you’re now doing?
Here’s a quick thought experiment for you.
Make a list of all the things you do in your life that you do for the main reason that you want to do them because they provide you with a sense of meaning, purpose, enjoyment, connection, engagement, inspiration, or fulfilment?
Now, once you’ve made your list, look at what you’ve written and separate them into two columns. In the left column transfer from your list the things that have nothing to do with your regular work role. In the right column transfer from your list the things that are related to you doing your regular work.
Now, looking at your two columns and thinking about the question again for a moment, and this time I will slightly reframe it, what are the things you do in your personal and work life that you do for the main reason that you want to do them because they provide you with a sense of meaning, purpose, enjoyment, connection, engagement, inspiration, or fulfilment?
Can you add any more to your left and right columns?
OK. Now let’s just focus on your right column.
I’m not sure about you, but my educated guess is that for most people their left hand column would be much longer than their right hand column.
The challenge is not to have an equal amount in both columns but to have at least something in both columns.
Most of us will be ‘at work’ for around 64,000 hours over a life time. That’s a lot of hours that will impact on our overall sense of well-being and our sense of living a happy, flourishing and prosperous life.
Not everyone however is blessed to have work column that is full of ‘intrinsic’ tasks – things that we do in work that we enjoy and find personal value from.
However, this is where Intentionomics can assist.
By focusing on the value of what you do for others rather than simply on focusing on what you’re doing, can help you to find more intrinsic value in completing the task well. But how do you do that practically?
Here are three simple strategies to help you find intrinsic value from any mundane tasks at work.
1. Hold regular meetings where the topic of value creation and intention become part of the agenda. Talk about examples of how what you are doing helps others (either internal colleagues or external customers).
2. While management may have set you task goals, timelines and budgets, set your own personal sub-goals on time or quality or budget that will not only help you achieve the management goals, but provides you with a personal ‘game’ that builds interest in any daily mundane task
3. Bring something into your work area that gives you personal and intrinsic value while completing any mundane task. Examples could be listen to your favourite music, talk-back radio, inspiring audio books or programs. Bring visual reminders of what doing a good job and earning the pay you receive will help you achieve in your personal life – new car brochures, pictures from past family holidays, pictures from future planned holiday brochures.
The one thing that each of us has in the hours we spend or invest at work is the choice in how we approach what we do. Perhaps you can find intrinsic value from your work because of the friendships and trust relationships you have with your colleagues or even your customers or suppliers. Perhaps you can find intrinsic value from your work by deciding just to be the best you can be at whatever it is you’re doing.
When you apply the 3rd inescapable truth in the Intentionomics Blueprint, which is to Define your intention for each life role, and you define your intention for your work role and even for elements within your work role, you are tapping into your personal intrinsic motivational levels. The more intrinsically we are engaged and motivated throughout our life, or said another way, the more we live an intentional life, the more likely we will achieve a higher sense of well-being and experience a more happy, flourishing and prosperous life.
Just think for a moment on this – to intentionally choose that your work, or parts of your work are boring and to choose to just be bored, is a pretty defeatist attitude. Even if parts of your work are mundane and yes, boring, doesn’t mean you can’t choose a bigger WHY and focus on not being bored with a boring task, but play a better game than that.