Don’t Do Your Job

And other ways to increase productivity and engagement at work and in life for mid-level performers

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Go to your local library and look for a book titled Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. 1) it’s a fantastic literature review with a great list of citations and 2) so many rabbit holes.
That’s the first one.

Second: do some one else’s job. See what you can learn by following shadowing someone for a day. Take a break from being yourself and become intimately curious with how someone else navigates life.

The goal: learn as much as you can about everything. Even if it doesn’t relate now, that information is likely to come in handy when you least expect it.

I know this to be true and worthwhile because: Time and time again I have been able to solve issues/overcome complications because of a past experience that seemed unrelated. Knots you use to tie horses are similar to knots you use to tie boats and trees… Ideas and methods permeate across silos in a similar manner. The jargon will be different but the structure of the solution will be the same and, even better, often a problem faced in one arena has already been solved by gladiators in another. Cross-pollinate skills and see what grows.

Third: play with the advice in the book referenced above. If you like puzzles, play with a challenge you have at work. Play with your walk, with your arms, your muscles. Play with anything and everything (with consent of course because, adulting.) Play by yourself, no phone, no input from other humans or human-like creatures parading about bombarding you with their thoughts and ideas. Discover yourself like you would a new friend. What is your third favorite reptile?

Fourth: Go do your work. At a certain point, as dumb as it is and as much as we might not want to… we just have to put our noses down and do it. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable and a learning experience.

Every time I’m buried under a mountain of tasks that may not be my favorite, I think about how great it’s going to feel when I’m finally in a position to lead full teams of subject matter experts and the mountains we will move. It’s exciting.

Find your motivator and hold on to it. Write it down in at least several different places and keep it top of mind. If you’re looking to accomplish big things, make sure to stay connected to it otherwise you risk burnout. But you already knew that

You’ve got this. We’ve got this. We can pull through and be better for it.

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