Are you addicted to the unsexy work in your business?

Maybe you’re just procrastinating and afraid to get to the creative work that is the genius behind your business.

In my experience, the great thing about that tedious work is that you get a dopamine hit every time you check off one of those tasks. It’s not your genius work, but at least you get to say you did them. You FINISHED them.

Today’s #InstantUplevel question comes from Jessica, in response to my blog post , The Unsexy Truth About Success. It’s a great questions, and for some of us this is THE question.

I’ve spent the last 3 years in my business trying to ‘get out of’ the unsexy stuff because I successfully did all of that and guess what? It worked! I’ve hired people to do my weaknesses, and I have finally gotten to a point where I am doing different work and not the late night grueling work that allowed myself and my husband to quit our jobs, support ourselves and many employees in our business. The only work I know how to value is the unsexy stuff, and lately I am working on finding myself without these ‘doer type tasks’ to fuel my fire. How do I finally relax? Get into your genius work and schedule and enjoy the big picture thinking tasks that aren’t driven by daily email notifications?

Sometimes we can get caught up in defining success as reaching some pinnacle, or winning an award—it’s not always about that though. Sometimes, it’s about embracing those quiet moments—those moments you’re able to work through things with yourself and get to that genius work you wish you always had time for in the past.

This is SUCH a great question because it speaks to why we procrastinate—why we’re reactors and adrenaline junkies to those everyday tedious tasks.

The challenge with our genius work, is that we don’t necessarily know when most of it is done. It’s creative work. The very nature of it is that it needs to be released out there imperfectly. We have to let go of that dopamine rush and KNOW when it is done.

It’s scary not knowing if you’re done, but part of being an entrepreneur is that you have to be able to HOLD SPACE for the genius work that’s a little frightening to you.

There’s three things I want to say about how to do this.

#1: Schedule time for genius work in your business.

Whether its focusing on business plans, developing a marketing campaign—whatever it is, you need to get that time on your schedule. DON’T wait for that time to just show up!

#2: Because you don’t know when you’re done, you can block the time for creative work.

This is where you can still get that dopamine rush! When you get through that block of time doing your work, you can check it off by time blocks—not by having the whole project complete.

#3: Embrace imperfect action in your business

Imperfect action is the only action you can take as entrepreneurs. You put it out there, and the gift of what we do is research and development. If it doesn’t work—you get to do it again. It’s all about tweaking and testing.

Holding on to imperfect action lets you be more flexible so you can tap into that creativity you need to do your genius work.

It’s the perfectionist that keeps us afraid. Discomfort is why you’re great at what you do. Being willing to be UNCOMFORTABLE is why you start to SUCCEED.

What you do to get away from the procrastination tasks you have in your business. OR…What are your favorite tasks that help you procrastinate?

4 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Christi

    I use a tabata timer on my computer to block me out for 50 min. Then I get a 10 min break. The one I use is LOUD. It ORDERS me to work. It ORDERS me to rest. And I reward myself once an hour with a little treat of self care…. a 5 min yoga sequence, or a new warm yummy mug of tea or hot chocolate, or a TIMED 5 minutes to read blog posts like this one. And then the timer automatically and LOUDLY announces that it is time to go to WORK and I am off on the next 50 min cycle.

  • Maria

    I find that spaces can serve as strong reminders/drivers for tasks or mindsets, because we can easily create an association between a certain task/mindset and a particular place. Therefore, I’m scheduling my genius work at a different location (home, a coffee shop), than my regular work. I find it very helpful.

  • Mandi

    I just finished up a teaching engagement, and much of the prep was checking things off the list. I know it’s time for my genius work now, and I have the space blocked off for it. It’s feeling a bit scary, so the imperfect action is where I need to go instead of obsessively checking my email. Thanks!

  • Amanda

    SO ME! Check. Check. Check. I’m holding space for my genius work. I schedule it, but then I bump it all over my calendar like a ping pong ball. I’m using the “just start for 5 minutes” strategy and that helps me get going. It sure is uncomfortable. I’m getting back into it. No more moving it. I commit to you people of the Internet to start respecting my time blocks. (Instead of checking email, doing dishes, watching random coaching videos I find like this one, and that silly Facebook). I am resilient. I am accountable. I am doing this!

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