How to know if your job is energizing (or just draining you)

Let’s be honest. You dread certain tasks. Really dread them. You might even wake up in the morning and experience a sinking “uuuugh” feeling when you remember one of them.

Here’s the kicker: not only do you dislike this type of task, and feel exhausted just thinking about it, but it can also damage your reputation.

For example, you might be right-handed. If someone put a pencil in your left hand and asked you to write with that left hand, you could, theoretically. However, it would feel awkward, you probably wouldn’t get optimal results, and it would take a lot more effort. Similarly, if you have an employee with Primary Mystique Advantage, and you expect her to sparkle with gregarious banter while schmoozing clients, you might be disappointed. But does the problem lie with her characteristics, or with your expectations?

In Sally Hogshead’s best-selling book, How the World Sees You, she describes why this is your “quicksand.” Quicksand tasks drain your time and energy, preventing you from allocating yourself on the areas that actually lead to big results. In quicksand mode, you’re less likely to impress and influence people, which puts you at a real disadvantage in your business efforts.

On the other hand, there are different opportunities that feel amazing. These are your “wellspring” activities. These tasks give you energy, rather than requiring energy. They make you feel focused, confident, and in the flow. Coworkers and clients alike can feel confident when coming to you with wellspring tasks and opportunities.

For a quick tip on immediately applying these concepts to improving productivity – Ask yourself these simple questions:

1. Which types of projects feel like a wellspring? (Do more of these, because they showcase your natural Advantages.)

2. Which projects feel like quicksand? (Watch out for these! They can damage people’s perception of you. Try to stay clear of being responsible for tasks like this, or at least understand that they require a lot more effort on your part. Explain to your team why they drain you, and try to think of a plan for optimizing the situation.)

Curious to know what Sally Hogshead’s answer was?

“My wellsprings include activities such as idea development, writing notes to you, and playing fetch with my French Bulldog puppy, Bacon. My quicksand areas include spreadsheets and proofreading. In fact, receipt tracking is such an area of quicksand that my company no longer does expense reports. Literally, no expense reports whatsoever. “

When you identify which activities energize you and which ones leave you watching the clock you can be more intentional about the tasks you take on. You’ll increase performance and your ability to communicate and collaborate with others. Need a refresher on how to communicate your highest value? Log in to your Fascinate Account today.

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About the author

Sally Hogshead

Sally skyrocketed to the top of the advertising world in her early 20s, fascinating millions of consumers for clients such as MINI Cooper and Coca-Cola. Since then, she’s published two New York Times bestsellers on the science of fascination, and is one of only 172 living members in the Speaker Hall of Fame. Over a million professionals have taken the Fascination Advantage® personality test to discover how others perceive their communication.

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