Do What You Love: But First Find Out What That Is

Research out of Mayo Clinic reveals that if we spend just 20 percent of our time on things we are passionate about, then other responsibilities which we are less enthusiastic about don’t seem as burdensome or daunting. This is a perfect opportunity to create a passion audit and find out what things we love doing.

Creating a Passion Audit

The passion audit reveals the overt and covert tasks that bring meaning to us. It also helps identify which tasks deplete us and if continued doing on a full-time basis, might lead to burnout. The passion audit requires you to develop a document with three columns.

Column 1: List what you are good at

Make a running list of all of the things you are good at, whether or not you enjoy doing them. They could be balancing budgets, writing grants, managing a crisis, overseeing operations, creating slide decks, or developing a sense of community within a department or organization.

Column 2: Consider what you dislike doing

Jot down all of the things you don’t enjoy doing, even if you are good at it. This could be managing people, developing standard operating procedures, writing reports, or grants. There might be items from your first column which will reappear in the second column. This list should include responsibilities that if someone took them away from you, you wouldn’t lose a minute’s sleep over it. You might, in fact, feel a little less stressed.

Column 3: What are your passions?

What are you truly passionate about? List the types of things you would do for free if you could. Perhaps you enjoy producing content on social media, writing articles, or mentoring. Be as specific as you can. If there is a specific group you want to professionally engage with, such as women, first-generation college students or teenagers, write it down.

Ask others what they think you are naturally gifted at. Add those things to column number one and after some reflection, you might find they also belong in column number three.

Consider your current work and imagine how you might be able to re-engineer your responsibilities. Are there obligations you could shed to make room for a new passion project? Is there a committee you could join or a responsibility you could initiate which revolves around one of your passions?

Just spending part of your time doing the things you love, will make the tasks in column number two feel less depleting, especially if it can be maneuvered to support your projects from column three.

We all have tasks and responsibilities that we don’t love to do. However, if we could embed some of our passions into our work, it would help alleviate the feeling of burnout and disengagement. To embrace our passions at work, we must first identify what they are. Conducting a passion audit is a critical first step.

Excerpted from “Do What You Love: But First Find Out What That Is” in Forbes magazine. Read the full article online.

Source: Forbes | Do What You Love: But First Find Out What That Is, | copyright 2023 Forbes Media, Inc.
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