It’s not the thing, it’s the thing behind the thing.

Both kinds of dread!

Pretty much everything is more interesting to do once you’ve taken a couple of levels in Self Awareness.

F’rexample, I’ve learned in the week or so since I started this post-every-day-but-Sunday-experiment that the biggest reason I resist writing articles like this isn’t the actual writing of the article.

As long as I’m careful about the expectations I set for the writing (translated: as long as I don’t say, “Okay, article, you better be a goddamn masterpiece.”) this bit I’m doing now is usually pretty fine.

I don’t mind writing and editing articles. I hate all the things I have to do once I’m finished.

My torment, let me show you it:

Decide on a title.

Find the right picture.

Do all the SEO stuff.

Schedule a couple of tweets.

Doesn’t sound terrible. But now I pay more attention, I can feel my energy levels plummet while I’m doing it. Doing that ten minutes of work acts like the parachute they attach to drag racers. I was going along fine, and then FOOMSH.

But why does forty minutes of writing leave me feeling fine, when only ten minutes of admin squashes me like a bug?

’Cos they’re different kinds of work.

The writing is creative work. The choosing of the “right” (or at least “adequate”) title/picture/keyword/category/tag is analytical work.

And analytical work is, for me, the worst possible thing to start the day with.

Even ten minutes of it noticeably deflates the rest of my precious, precious morning. A client session will help to get me back to where I need to be – they are a super-injection of energy – but I have quite possibly lost an hour in aimless Facebook dickery before then.

So what to do now I know this?

Two things:
1. Short term, get more organised so I don’t have to do the argh-inducing bits first thing in the morning.
2. Longer term, hire someone else to do it for me. I would write a lot more often if I didn’t have to do the bits I hate.

I’m also wondering how many other things I resist doing where it’s not the actual work that’s the problem. I plan to keep an eye out for this and report.

A challenge for you!

Next time you’re doing a task you dread, pay attention. Is it a never-ending pit of suck, or are there just a few steps that taint the whole experience? And if so, do you have to be the person who does those steps?

Experiment and report in the comments!