There is a big difference between loving your work, and doing lots of fun things during working time. It’s very easy to get drawn into all number of activities that don’t really contribute to you doing what you love for a living. That might be ‘interesting’ projects that you get invited to join, or it might be tasks that no-one else wants to do.

It’s very easy to convince yourself that all sorts of things are included in doing what you love for a living– especially if things are a bit slow in your own business, or your boss is putting you under pressure in a job. So you accept work that’s not 100% work you love, but it’s good enough – after all, you need the money or to keep the boss happy. And then you get asked to do something similar, that’s just a bit farther away from your ideal. And takes you a bit further away from what you set out to do. And before you know it, your time is all taken up with work you don’t really want to do, and you have no time to develop your ideal work. You’ve become a Busy Fool!

It’s all too easy to get yourself involved in all manner of exciting and interesting projects, any one of which could bring you riches - and leave yourself with insufficient time to do any of them very well. And to flit frantically from one to another, desperately trying to find the time to make each one work – only to be frustrated and just spinning your wheels as none of them succeeds. You’ve become a Busy Fool!

Whether you are employed in a job or working for yourself, if you want to be successful at making a living doing what you love, it’s essential that you define clear boundaries about what is and what is not part of you loving your work. You have to know where to draw the line, when to say “No”, when something you’re considering doing is a valuable addition to your dream work and when it’s just a distraction.

And the most important person you need to enforce those boundaries with is ... yourself!

If you want to make a living doing what you love, you need to be completely clear on what it is – really – that you love to do. Without that clarity, you will struggle to set appropriate boundaries for yourself and for others, and you will find it too easy to drift from your purpose. There are a vast number of ways to achieve this clarity, so I’ll just share with you some of my favourites that I’ve used over the years, both for myself and with clients.

The first is to understand what your Values are, the things that are truly important to you in your life. The temptation is to look only at your career or business values, but in for best results you really need to be looking at your values for your whole life. After all, the whole objective of loving work is to make it so that what you do for a living is a vibrant, enjoyable and important part of your life. To help you with this, there’s a ‘values elicitation’ audio available at www.opportunity-matrix.com/values - it’s free, just sign up.

The next is to understand what you’re doing when you are really at your best. Most of us have something that just comes naturally to us, that we intuitively know how do to well, that really lights us up when we do it. And often we don’t value it because it’s so easy for us, we really don’t understand why others value us when we do it. If you have a coach, you will probably have already identified this. The method I use is called Core Process (you can find more details about it at TheBusyFool.com), which uses storytelling to help identify what you’ve been doing when you’ve been at your best. My Core Process is “encouraging potential” – so you can see why what I do for a living leads to me loving work.

You probably have your own favourite ways to clarify what you really love doing. If not, ask your coach to help you, or try out one of my methods. The important thing is that you get completely clear on what “loving work” means for you. With that clarity you will find it so much easier to arrange your working life so that’s what you do every working day

Author's Bio: 

Andrew Horder is a business strategy coach and a specialist in helping independent consultants to choose their niche and avoid the distractions that can move them out of their flow. Andrew is the creator of Opportunity Matrix TM, a tool to help entrepreneurs and 'protopreneurs' pick which of all their great opportunities to focus precious time, effort, money and resources on.

www.Opportunity-Matrix.com Make the most of your best opportunities
Core Process - The very best of YOU (www.thebusyfool.com/core-process/)