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Do You Know Your Dirty Thirty?

Life is good.  So is work…mostly.  Most people will agree that working is good for you.   Work- for most people- means much more than our daily bread.   But even for people who absolutely LOVE their job, there will be portions of the job that are just not so great.   Studies show that for the average worker, the following statistics apply:

  • 30% of our job duties: we very much enjoy
  • 40% of our job duties:  are “ok”
  • 30% of our job duties:  are our Dirty Thirty

The “Dirty Thirty” are the parts of our job…and every job has them… that we don’t enjoy doing and the reasons for this are many.

1.     It may just be the mundane part of an otherwise exciting job

2.     It may require attention to detail that you don’t naturally have

3.     It may involve tasks that go against your natural talents and abilities

4.     It may require give-and-take that you don’t usually prefer

5.     It may require presentation skills and you are naturally shy

6.     It may require writing presentations and you are not naturally gifted as a writer

As you can see, the list could go on and on.  But the main idea to take away is that we all have a Dirty Thirty.  And studies show that it is how we deal with our dirty thirty that determines our success.

In other words…

  • If you don’t like to write but part of your job requires writing presentations or reports, it is important for you to know and understand the most creative time of the day or week for YOU.   And use your time wisely.
  • You may be a procrastinator.  But, again, studies confirm what we all know deep down inside.   It is easier to complete a task or project than to “hope it will go away.”  It will likely NOT go away.  Ever!  Just plan for it and DO IT!
  • You may not be an afternoon person at all.  Use this time to work on mundane matters and use your morning hours for creative projects.
  • You may dislike meetings because you feel people talk too much and don’t get enough accomplished.  Perhaps you can arrange your schedule to hold meetings at the end of the day when people want to “wrap it up” quickly.
  • If speaking in front of a group frightens you but your job requires it, join a Toastmasters Group.  Practice makes perfect.
  • If spreadsheets drive you crazy, take a class at the local university and get better at them.

There are many ways we can work with our natural abilities and plan our workdays in ways that are more meaningful and more rewarding.   Don’t let your Dirty Thirty get in your way!

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Judy W Bell

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