12 subtle tricks to ensure you have more fun in the work week as a solopreneur
Mastery Den, Tuesday Edition, 4.5 min read.
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Most of us are returning to a wall of work and self-expectations this week.
Still bleary-eyed from alcohol-soaked conversations in dark rooms and carrying a few extra pounds, getting back into the world of ‘doing stuff other than living the good life’ can be daunting.
What were we even doing again before we dove into the holidays?
I know the feeling.
When I find myself gulping nervously at the idea of returning to doing work to pay the bills, I remind myself that it needn’t be hell.
The issue is that we make everything seem so serious and dry and important.
That’s the problem.
Just because work is ‘work’ doesn’t mean it must be a struggle. We have the choice to make it more fun. I consider this a necessity rather than a pleasant and quirky diversion.
We must make the work we do to put bread on the table enjoyable.
Otherwise, what’s the damn point?
Here are some ways I’ve infused a vastly more enjoyable experience into my work and projects:
Understanding the power of enjoyment.
Merely positioning our minds to truly ‘get’ the idea that enjoying something helps us greatly improve our performance in that thing is critical.
As I’ve said before, ‘You can’t outwork the guy who’s enjoying himself.’
And that thing needn’t be blowing up balloon animals at birthday parties.
It can be something as mundane as sweeping birdshit off the front porch. While everyone else rushes around grinding and pressuring themselves to work, you know the power of fun.
This is powerful in itself.
Choose to have fun.
Enjoyment is a choice. It really is.
I remember when I worked in an office in London, my co-worker would always get on the phone to clients and talk to them like he was speaking to a long-lost best friend. And yet, he’d still occasionally moan about work with a glint in his eye.
He was one of the most prized employees and went on to progress rapidly in the real estate industry after I left.
He chose to enjoy himself, even if he didn’t always feel like it.
Do something small.
Things get way more fun when you’ve shown yourself capable of some kind of action.
The mind needn’t discriminate what kind. It’s direction we’re looking for. Just do something, and when you do, you’ll realise you can enjoy yourself.
It might not seem like it to those of us who’ve become reliant on continual distractions to feel sane, but being present is the most enjoyable place you could be.
Note how this has nothing to do with where you are and what you’re doing. Wild eh?
This makes sense when you realise that enjoyment is our natural default state when we have allowed judgements to subside. We don’t enjoy ourselves when we berate and criticise and resist.
All this floats away when we’re ok where we are.
Design a fun plan.
Raising your consciousness through presence is powerful.
But we can also bring some intentionality to the fun we have in our work by design.
Instead of falling into the rat race, can you design your day so you’re almost guaranteed to enjoy it?
What would a fun work session look like? You have the answers. Don’t come looking for me to be told what to do. Plan with intention, and you might be surprised by what you find.
Simplify and focus on the essentials.
Many of us struggle because we’re overloaded.
Most of us don’t even realise we’ve taken on too much because everyone else is doing it, and we can’t say no. I get it. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to focus on less.
We take on more, falsely associating more with exciting novelty and a better life.
But is your life really improving by doing a wider variety?
You know it isn’t so. You end up neglecting what needs your time and attention because you can’t limit yourself. Creativity and joy spring from less.
Limit yourself and focus on the small handful of things that make the most of your skills and talents.
That’s how to find true satisfaction in your work.
It’s crazy how unenjoyable we make our work to be through our fear of imperfection.
We grind through our projects like we have a stick up our butts because we can’t dare make a mistake.
This is why we must free ourselves through being imperfect.
Especially in the early stages of your process, give room for rubbish. Write rubbish. Produce junk. Revel in the freeing fun of making trash. Throw paint on the wall and get dirty.
You will extract the good stuff from this pile of rubble later.
Commit to producing ridiculous amounts of stuff.
One of the takeaway points that still fires me up after reading Grant Cardone’s book, The TenX Rule, a decade ago, was to do ten times the amount I’d set out to do.
What? Alex! I’ve got enough work to do as it is!
Hear me out. When we set higher targets and multiply our actions in attaining them, we may take on more work, but our likelihood of succeeding is greatly increased.
For example, instead of writing and publishing an article a week, share one every day. That way, you’ll see results and income more quickly from your effort.
You will see the impact you are making through simply doing more in real time. Not only this. When we commit to producing more (of the right things), we can’t help but get out of our heads and enjoy the process more.
People ask me how I stay so creative (for the most part) - and much of this comes down to my commitment to creating a lot.
The more I create, the more creative I become, and the more enjoyable the process.
Be foolishly assertive.
Think about it. Most of us play things too safe. We’re hesitant, and our lack of oomph pollutes our work ethic.
Before we know it, laziness has replaced hesitation, and we’ve become an amoebic sofa-dwelling human slug.
The greatest shortcut to fun is to be a bit (non-recklessly) foolish.
Foolish because nothing freaking happens when all you do is the sensible stuff.
Nothing is certain, so don’t claim to think you know it all. None of us do.
Shake yourself off and make the first move, even if you don’t know all the answers.
Write out your reasons why.
Often, the thing stopping many of us from taking bold action is knowing - with clarity - why we’re doing what we’re doing.
Not only that - what is awesome about what we’re doing? What’s the purpose? If this feels watery and just ‘meh,’ it’s time to solidify your purpose.
You can do this by writing out a list of all the compelling reasons the work you do is worth it.
Make it clear. Inject some colour into your vision again.
That’s how to find meaning and joy in your work.
If you can, do less of the stuff you don’t inherently find entertaining. Sometimes this requires you finding it, or reminding yourself why the work you do is entertaining.
But otherwise, switch things up so that you are entertained. I rarely write articles or books, for example, that don’t entertain me as I write them.
I want to be chuckling or sniffling a little as I do. If not, it’s probably a rotter that can be binned.
Gamify your tasks.
Almost anything you do can be turned into a game if you can dig into the deep recesses of your creativity nap sack.
The fundamental example is using deadlines. Don’t give yourself ‘wotever’ to complete your task. Give yourself 35 minutes, ending with an alarm bell that could shake the house.
Another cool aspect of gamification is by involving others in your process.
Check in with people about your progress and have them share their progress too.
Note: I’m going to be releasing many more books over the coming months and years to help you maximise your happiness and more.
The next book coming out soon is ‘The Art of Self-Respect.‘ I can’t wait to show you.
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