Jeff Davidson's book, Simpler Living, was Amazon Kindle #1 in its category, first quarter, 2012. Jeff is featured in the NY Times, Forbes, Chicago Tribune, Businessweek, Fortune, Organized Executive, and Success.

To-Do With Pleasure

Without knowing you, I can safely predict you have a lot to do. As with most career professionals, the tasks and challenges you face at work come in two basic varieties: recurring or one time. The common denominator is that there is no end to them. Surprisingly, your attitude in approaching the tasks on your to-do list directly impacts your energy and effectiveness in executing them.

Suppose you get a call in the morning and someone is requesting information from you that you need to assemble. By responding, “I’ll be happy to assemble that information for you,” you dramatically raise the probability of you executing that task with more vim and vigor, while staying in balance.

Conversely, if you disguise your groan and mutter, “Okay, I’ll have to assemble that information for you,” you just told your subconscious and the caller that you don’t really enjoy this task, regard it as drudgery, and would prefer not to undertake it altogether. Hence, most of the time you’re engaged in it will not be enjoyable. You might end up resenting the request, the assault on your time, and the disruption with whatever else you were doing.

Your attitude in approaching the task dramatically impacts your relationship with the other party, your reputation as a helpful professional, and even your own perception of your job responsibilities. As often as possible you want to get in the mode of accepting the tasks that come your way in a joyful manner even if they otherwise represent disruptions in your day, which is likely to be the case on many occasions.

Throughout the course of your career you’ll be asked to do many things at many times that are not convenient to you. By taking on task after task in a joyful manner, you increase your career trajectory in ways you can’t even predict.

Over the many years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with students from various universities. The most memorable students whom I’ve employed and the ones for which I give the most vigorous recommendations are those who accepted task after task with equanimity and balance. Making no comment as to whether they preferred to take on any particular task, these gifted individuals had the knack for exhibiting a constant level of acceptance of whatever was assigned to them.

On assignment after assignment, regardless of the size or duration, they plowed in headlong, made the tasks their “own,” and by and large succeeded time after time. Without formal training, each of them, somehow, realized that even the most onorous of assigned tasks, if internally adopted, became far more palatable, even pleasant.

So, the next time a request is made of you at work, if you could remember to reply that you’ll be happy to take care of that, as so many others before you have discovered, an array of benefits will come your way.

Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®," is a preeminent time management authority, has written 65 mainstream books, and is an electrifying professional speaker, making 886 presentations to clients such as Lockheed Martin, Eckerd, Kaiser Permanente, IBM, American Express, Lufthansa, Swissotel, Re/Max, USAA, Worthington Steel, and the World Bank. Jeff is Executive Director of the Breathing Space Institute and the author of books such as:
  • Simpler Living (Skyhorse Publishing)
  • Dial It Down--Live it Up (Sourcebooks)
  • The 60 Second Innovator (Adams Media)
  • Breathing Space (CreateSpace)
  • Accomplishing Your Goals (Smart Guide Publications)
Jeff is the premier thought leader on work-life balance issues and has been widely quoted in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, USA Today, Businessweek, Forbes, and Fortune. Cited by Sharing Ideas Magazine as a "Consummate Speaker," Jeff believes that career professionals today in all industries have a responsibility to achieve their own sense of work-life balance, and he supports that quest through his website

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