Recharge

May 5, 2013

There are certain things I do to rest after or during a day's work. Sometimes I'll watch a movie, or maybe I'll go out for a drink with friends, or I'll just take a nap in the middle of the day. That last one's one of my favorites. It's hard to keep charging forward for hours at a time. For days at a time. When's the last time you had an entire week where you did nothing but get shit done? It's hard, and it's rare.

But there are the exceptions. There are those weeks where you look back and think, how the hell did I do that?

I don't think it's possible without having a source to recharge your batteries. Fortunately, I think I've found a really good one. It's doing your favorite work. The work that you lose yourself in, the work that when it's done, you feel like you're king (queen) of the world. The work where you feel lucky you're able to do.

Unfortunately, it's not as easy as it sounds. Because we don't get to do the stuff we want to do, the stuff that we're best at, the stuff that makes us feel good at the end of the day, all the time. In fact, you're lucky if you get to do it at all.

I know some accountants that absolutely love accounting. Okay, I'm lying, but I'm sure they exist. They're lucky. But I know so many more accountants, bankers, consultants, programmers, who make a lot of money, who love the people they work with, but who need to unwind all the time. They need to go on vacation, to see friends, to party, to get that energy back to do more good work. Doing good work is so admirable. And fulfilling. But doing good work isn't necessarily your favorite work. You could be an amazing salesperson, in fact you could be the best salesperson in the world, but what if what really gets your gears turning is to make music, to paint, to write, to kick a ball around, to code?

You've got this well of energy in you at the start of the day. It could be full or not, depending on how much sleep you get, how hard you worked the previous day, how well you charge yourself up, among other things. And you know you can and you do do good work. But that well depletes, no matter how much you don't want it to. The only thing that will slow it down when you work is if your work charges it.

So say what I'm saying is true. Even kind of true. This suddenly brings up two important things that might make your day a little better.

Doing your favorite work makes you better at doing your favorite work. No shit. But what I mean is, you're going to get better at doing something that's your favorite work faster than anyone else who your favorite work isn't their favorite. Because you're going to be able to go the extra mile because you genuinely want to, because you're the one that's getting a little bit back every time you give. What this means is this is the big motivation to dedicate time to your side projects when you're tired at the end of the day. Instead of going out for a beer, which is also good, sometimes, choose to do more work. The work that maybe you normally can't do during the day. Or if you're so, so fortunate enough that you're able to, try to do as much of it as possible during your day's good work, because you can't do it all the time, at least I don't think you can, because you have to deal with administrative shit, personal shit, email shit (I lump email into its own category because it's such a horrible thing). I want you to know that you could be striving to do the work that you like to do, instead of just enjoying it when it comes up. It's totally possible to become the best at what you do, but it's a hell of a lot easier when it's your favorite thing to do.

And second, this is the best thing to keep your energy up. To stay in high spirits. Of course I love going to the beach to barbeque and drink beer and spend quality time with friends, and of course that's going to be good rest to get me going the next week, but the best, best way to fill it up is to do your favorite work. It sounds counterintutive, but if if you're feeling fed up, maybe the best thing is to exercise your mind and body on something rather than letting it lay still. Just a suggestion.

Now the thing I'm wondering is, can you have more than one favorite thing? That would be amazing.