Three Tips for Grunt Work and a Funny Vid

Creative types are kinda screwed.

It’s the ability to lose your mind in something and let the infinite wisdom surface to gives creatives like you the great ideas make great sites. However, to make that vision a reality, you need grunt work – which is often not as blissful.

Imagine your customized, fantastic dreamhouse.

Mine would include a top-level room half made of thick glass to let sun in for exercise, tanning, relaxing or looking out over the ocean. In the basement would be a total-tech center and even a night-club like environment for parties. Yes a walk-in bath, big bedroom, and cozy living rooms are musts too.

Awesome right? But, again, there’s grunt work to do to build it.

To build this house someone’s gotta hammer down nails and install electric. Someone’s gotta haul lumber to the house, lay down the cement, and up the plaster walls. Someone’s gotta lay down the floor and install plumbing. That’s a lotta of grunt work.

And so, for us visionaries, who love to lose ourselves in the infinitely possible, it can be tough to hunker down and pound out the work.

Here are three tips for getting the grunt work done:

1. Just go

Just start. Be ok with imperfect non-visionary work and move those fingers. Tell yourself, if you must, you’ll just pop down for 20 minutes on any high priority item (especially the one that your resisting the most!) and then go do something else fun like Photoshop your friend’s face or do your toe nails.

2. Getta guy (my preferred option)

Get a guy, VA or other support person and hand off some grunt work. Especially the stuff you’ve got to do often and totally dislike. That kinda stuff is perfect for subcontracting.

3. Read this book.

A great book to help get grunt work done is The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. Neil’s great at helping us reveal our productivity hidden blockers. There are many tools and I find that I learn something earth shattering every time I read it. 

And now for the funny vid – where I pound out grunt work (and a slight detour off topic … forgive me) 

I like pounding out grunt work at Starbucks because I get to look like other creepy laptoppers but I know I’m actually doing something important! Actually, it’s because I can easily take breaks, get tea, walk around, talk to someone and make the grunt work less grunty. 

12 Pluses at the Massapequa Starbucks, Long Island, New York

  1. Grocery store right next door.
  2. Good background music, sometimes soft, sometimes uppity.
  3. Visually, I like the Starbucks color and feel. The smell of coffee and busy people add to the productive environment.
  4. A few comfortable seats for laptopping and there’s not too much competition from other long-term computerers.
  5. Open 5:30 to 11 and 12 on weekends. Lots of time to tap keys and create.
  6. It’s got AC in summer – though it’s can get a bit chilly.
  7. Free refills on tea. While my gastro track is getting cleansed, my armpits smell of peppermint — kinda nice.
  8. Internet is free and fast. Super.
  9. It’s good to get out of home due to cabin fever.
  10. They’ve got a very friendly staff. A big plus when you’re a regular.
  11. Enough outlets.
  12. This is a very clean, small and cozy, Starbucks. The one on 17th in Union Square Manhattan is a total zoo. It’s open 24-7 and at night, the “city’s best” congregate — fear for your life. 😉

The only main drawback I can think of is that I can’t really do phone calls here due to background noise. Too bad. Jawbone didn’t work and noise-cancelling just isn’t up to snuff.

How to make friends with baristas fast.

A quick tip for making friends with new baristas – make up a drink. I like to order a Japanese Blue Stem tea – a spoof on China Green Tips. Then let the barista make that puzzled look for about five seconds then smile big!

Qvestions fa joo!

Got any great tips for getting grunt work done?
Got any cool nuances about your work environment you’d like to share?
I’d love to hear about them.

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