All jobs have some things about them that you don’t like. Your primary response to this should be to shape your role in a way that minimizes these things. The reason is that the things you don’t like doing take time (and energy) away from doing things that lie within your strengths.
If you let this build up too much, it will render you ineffective. As Marcus Buckingham argues in his book The One Thing You Need to Know: … About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success, the most effective people over a long period of time identify the things they don’t like doing, and stop doing them.
But you can’t achieve a utopia where there is literally nothing you don’t like doing. So what do you do about those things?
I’ve found that the things that I don’t like doing interfere more with the things I’m good at if they are spread throughout the week. This makes it so that I’m frequently shifting gears between things I’m good at and things I’m not, making for a draining day.
So my solution is that I’ve now defined a day for everything that I don’t like doing. Whenever something comes my way in an email or from anywhere that is important for me to do and which I can’t eliminate, but it drains me, I put it in a bucket for a certain day. (I’m not going to say what day that is!) Then, it is off my mind. When that day comes, I plow through those things and get them off my plate.
This keeps the other days much more free to do the things that energize me, without having to switch gears so much. Yet I still know that the “not enjoyable, but must be done” things will still get done, since they have a day assigned.
In addition to making my other days more effective, I anticipate that this will have two other positive effects.
First, it gives me a gauge for knowing, for real, how much of this stuff there is. By saying “all the stuff that I don’t like doing has to fit into such and such day,” I have a systemic incentive to keep that stuff to a minimum (rather than merely an intention, which always ends up getting over-ridden). When you let those things be scattered over the whole week, it’s like not having a fuel gauge in your car. You never know how much fuel you are really using. This gives me a gauge, with the result that I can more effectively seek to minimize these things.
Second, I hypothesize that I will find out that I actually do like doing many of these things that I currently don’t like doing. It might be the case that the precise reason that I don’t like doing most of them is that they simply aren’t a good mix with the other tasks that I like to do. But if they were all grouped into a specific block of time, where I didn’t have to switch gears between these things and other things, I might find that I actually like them.
Or, perhaps better, I will get a much more accurate idea of what I really don’t like doing, so that I can be more effective at ultimately cutting more of those things out for good.