Have you seen the movie “Eat, Pray, Love”? Or read the book by the same title by Elizabeth Gilbert? In her latest book “Big Magic”, Ms. Gilbert talks about how every job comes with some elements that aren’t fun or easy to do, but we still have to do them and “eat the shit sandwich”.
Or, “eat the frog” in the Polish translation of the book.
For a writer, it may be promoting a book and travelling for weeks to places you won’t find on any “Best towns to visit” list. For a professional athlete – getting up at dawn every single day. For a teacher – dealing with demanding parents who think their kid is the smartest in school.
In my coaching business, it’s dealing with administration. Receipts, taxes, health reimbursement. I HATE IT. As of now, my team is just myself, so the only person who can deal with that dreadful stuff is me. And procrastinating is not a good option unless you want to pay extra fees and lose money.
So, a pleasant ritual is helpful for the “frog eating":
· It all starts with scheduling the unwanted task on my calendar. Leaving plenty of time is vital because my scanner is often moody and the Internet connection drops more often than not.
· Preceding the nasty sandwich with something pleasant and fun is essential. I make sure I plan an easy and short task right before, to get into the upward spiral of positive emotions. Sending interesting links to a couple of my clients works very well.
· A cup of tea with a bit of honey or sugar will keep me sustained for an hour or so. On a hot day, I may replace it with sparkling water. But the sandwich goes down much better with something to drink.
· Energizing music in the background helps a lot. But not too loud because then my anti-math mind can’t focus on those numbers and I have to start over.
· A reward afterwards. This depends on how many frogs I need to eat and on how busy my day is. Usually reading a fun article or having a snack with an entertaining podcast in the background is enough. Sometimes a phone call to a friend about how big that sandwich was is what I need.
How about you? What’s YOUR “shit sandwich” and how do you eat it?
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