Finding your passion is important if you want to be productive, effective and perform well. What many people seize to realize is just how little the actual passion or job title really matter in comparison to their work ethic as a whole. It shouldn’t matter what you’re doing to be doing it well and by doing what you’re passionate about should only increase the amount of time and energy you’re putting into this task you’re already productive in. It’s not what you’re doing, it’s how you’re doing it.
Role vs. Work | Perform Well No Matter the Environment
To really understand yourself and know what makes you work most productively has little to do with the task at hand. We’ll look at a few examples:
Cleaning the Restroom
You’re given the task of cleaning the bathroom. You’re forced to get on your knees, wear yellow rubber gloves, scrub the floors, and wipe the toothpaste off the mirror. Maybe you hate this job — it’s not your niche, it’s not what you studied in school, and it’s not what you’re passionate about.
The above aren’t excuses to neglect to do the job nor are they justifications for doing the job poorly. They may very well be self-sabotaging tactics that ensure you perform terribly at whatever the job is.
Imagine the job is given to Jeff Bezos — an accomplished and well-executing executive. If he had been given the opportunity to clean the bathroom and was unable to delegate it how do you think he’d perform? As someone who is maximally efficient, wants a clean bathroom as much as the next person and has better things to do, he’d get the job done quickly for sure. Additionally, someone who is motivated throughout every day to get things done well will also have those same traits carried over into whatever work they’re doing. In this case, running a global company will ensure the bathroom is pristine.
We’ll turn the tables. Imagine you are a janitor. You love taking care of the floors and windows of the big law firm you clean. Out of nowhere, you are somehow given the task of designing a website. Again, we’ll imagine you have to take on this job and cannot delegate it to someone who is supposedly passionate about web design.
A productive and effective janitor who cleans with pride and efficiency might take a similar approach to web design. So long as you know how you work and what makes you work faster and better, you can take these same principles in any industry. The janitor knows to go from this room to that office and in which order to do the windows — just like they’ll use the same ideas on a website when they decide which pages to do first and at which stage to add contact forms.
How the janitor does one trade is how they’ll do every trade. It’s truly less about what they’re doing and more about how they’re doing it. How well you perform and how much passion you have for a specific industry can be learned, delegated, and even grown into — what isn’t so easy to acquire is a quality work ethic.
Flexibility and Performing Well On Any Task
In software development, you may encounter paradigms like MVC (model view controller). This is a basic principle that forces you to adhere to a system in which your program’s code will have three parts — the model which is your data, the view which is the front-end that users interact with, and the controller which is where the functionality occurs that tells the data and view how to work with each other.
A key component to creating scalable and reliable code is that when you create any part of the program and more methods on top of that, you really want them to be as flexible as possible. You don’t want one piece of functionality to only add together single digit numbers; you want it to be scalable to add all numbers so you have a calculator that can do more. Your mind and body are the same way — you should create a system and have methods in place that can be thrown anything. Your schedule should allow for interruptions and your task manager should be able to deal with new jobs coming down the pipelines.
These are all components of how you work and nothing to do with what you’re working on. The most effective leaders will lead any business. The most productive managers can manage any company. No matter the environment they’re in and the problem they’re given, someone who is great at managing themselves and are capable of reliably getting things done in their own life first is always going to be highly effective.