I spent the last few weeks finishing work on a real estate renovation project. I was supposed to have this finished by the end of August. I had promised the tenants, who were moving in, that it would be done by September 7th. Two weeks after they moved in the work was done.
Spending 3 weeks working on this project put me behind in doing several things I wanted to do. Such as writing blog posts and working on consulting projects. It also drained me; I was so exhausted I started feeling like a Zombie.
Why was I exhausted?
I am not in the construction business. While I enjoy components of it, I am a real estate investor. I hire talented contractors to do the work right and quickly. When a contractor disappeared on me I “had” to do several aspects of the work that were supposed to already be done.
(It was my management failure that allowed this work to get so far behind in the first place.)
There aren’t many things in life we really “have” to do. We choose to do them because we fear a particular consequence of not doing them. I “had” to do this work (even though I don’t enjoy it) because integrity is a core value in my life.
I made a promise.
I failed to keep this promise, so I did all I could to remedy the situation as best I could. I was emotionally drained. I am still recovering from the time spent on that work.
What I learned
Doing work you aren’t passionate about is exhausting. I didn’t hate the work, I just knew there were more important things that I should be doing. That frustration was a mental burden that decreased my overall energy.
There are times we should do things that we may not enjoy. Sometimes because of responsibility or core values we “have” to do. I have a plan to improve my process so I will not be caught in a situation like this again.
There are many people who do things they hate for decades (like a job they hate “Just to pay the bills”). They clothe their continuing toil in phrases that sound good. Phrases like “I have to work here for the benefits” or “Nobody is hiring” or “I am too old to change jobs.”
Do you do want you want to do or what you “have to do?”