If You Only Did Boring Things First

How many wishes do you wish or dreams do you dream every day? Many, right? But have you ever tried taking action to achieve any of them? Maybe not. Or maybe you just wish your dreams to magically come true. 

Welcome to the real world! You probably know without taking any step to achieving your dreams, your dreams will be nothing more than just dreams.

The good news is it’s the 21st century, and never in the history of humankind, it was this easy to achieve what you wished for (at least in terms of running your everyday life comfortably). According to Chris Guillebeau, an author I admire, entrepreneurship used to be a risky choice a couple of decades ago, but it’s the other way around today. He suggests opting to work for someone else over earning and living your way may not be the best choice now. 

Why? Simply because the time is different. 

You don’t need to work for someone to hone a skill anymore. Furthermore, if you take the right action, you can earn more than what average employers offer, from the comfort of your home, without competing in the eight-hour corporate rat race (it’s usually more than eight hours in a third-world work setting). And you don’t have to sweat and suffer to establish yourself as the people from the older generation did.

My words above just made success sound like an easy peasy lemon squeezy task, right? But not so quick, Potter! It’s not. It’s not because although technology has made everything simple, humankind has yet to invent a widely accepted method that makes people take the proper steps and be consistent. Nothing is possible with the wrong mindset, and there’s no magic pill.

Now, you may say you are passionate about your dreams. But what if I say that you’re outright wrong? Your actual test starts when you decide to get in the game. Then you’ll realize you had been passionate about the end result only. The problem is that we only look at the bright side of success. We often forget the other side, the side that matters the most — the boring side.

Trust me! Things you find boring produce results and keep you guiding in the right direction, even if it’s as minor as waking up early in the morning. Now, I don’t think I need to remind you about everything you consider boring. But what I can guarantee you is that if you begin completing boring things first, you’ll behold your life take the right direction in a matter of weeks. I have experienced it.  

How It Started

A few weeks ago, I saw a post on LinkedIn that read that preferring to finish boring things first had transformed the author’s life. So I couldn’t wait to identify the boring things that had been hindering my progress, although I always considered myself an organized individual. I scrutinized my daily routine but couldn’t find a single boring thing. I didn’t have a problem waking up at 5 a.m., I never found it challenging to organize things, and no distraction would keep me from writing at least a thousand words every morning (since publishing a new book is my goal for the year). Things looked perfect and on track. 

Then I realized, following my long-term goal wouldn’t help me make a living. Something was missing in my routine after I had quit my day job. My day wasn’t as vibrant or as engaging though I wasn’t missing the job or the people I used to work with (indeed, quitting the job was an excellent decision). I needed to keep myself busy, or in my words, growing. Then I made a list of things that I had been finding boring. 

  • Marketing myself wasn’t my cup of tea.
  • Though I had mastered video editing and motion graphics skills, I never found them fascinating to invest time in.
  • Though I always wanted to learn to illustrate, I found the process of learning very dull. 
  • I had always been focusing more on the words of my articles and snubbing the presentation.

How It’s Going

These days, I’m busier than ever but still as free as I could ever dream of. Within two weeks, after prioritizing to take on boring things first, I 

  • wrote 48 cover letters to market my skills and landed five good-paying freelance gigs 
  • made more than $1200 
  • completed act 1 of my book
  • not only wrote but designed and published some of the articles for the clients online
  • made a few hilarious caricature drawings for a client for their incredible internal communication
  • got praised and tipped for the opening paragraph of an article (I wrote for a client from the UK)

You see, I’m not a great writer, but I feel imposter syndrome is a thing. You are more likely to doubt your abilities when people don’t recognize your contributions. I expanded my circle, met amazing people, got complimented like never before. Nothing would have happened if it wasn’t for my decision to take on the boring things. And it all happened within a few weeks.

And Finally  

Success is a subjective term. It depends on how you take it. You can find success in either defeating your competitors in the corporate race, or living a simple, peaceful life in the countryside, or becoming what you always wanted to become. The thing is, it’s easier than ever to choose how you want to guide your life. No matter what you do, everything will be the way you want them to be if you start taking on boring things first. Trust me!

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