Finding the Fun

Published by Jacob Olson

Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life, right?  Sometimes we get so busy or distracted that we forget to find the fun in what we do.  I’m going to use mowing the lawn (my favorite household chore) as an example of how to find the fun in a project:

  1. Clearly defined scope – There’s absolutely no chance of scope creep with mowing the lawn.  It’s not like the project sponsor (my wife) is going to move our fence a few feet into the neighbor’s yard, or decide that I should mow the driveway and the street while I’m out there.  By setting – and agreeing upon – boundaries, we set ourselves up for achievable success.
  2. Measurable progress is made – When I look ahead, I see tall grass; when I look behind, I see nearly mowed rows.  I can see exactly what has been done, and what is left to do.  And I can see it at a macro level (front yard vs back yard) and at a micro level (so granular that you could examine each individual blade of grass).
  3. Challenges keep it interesting – It’s hot outside, the lawn mower is noisy, there are pine cones to avoid and curved edges to negotiate.  It’s hard work, but it’s not difficult work.  And that’s what makes success so rewarding – you want to feel like you’ve earned that cold beer at the end of the project.

Most of all, I like being able to see that I’ve contributed something.  When the project is complete, I can look back and see that my contributions made a difference and that I’m leaving this space in a better condition than when I arrived.  And to me, that’s fun.