The popular advice to achieving productivity and profitability in our individual lives is by doing what we love. But because a lot of us often find ourselves in the nook of jobs that we take on just to pay the bills, there is often a yawning gap between how well we perform on that job in relation to how well we can perform versus how much we earn; and the effect is rippling. It wears down on the quality of jobs we do, it appears so visibly to the recipients of our service, and it suffocates us.

Maybe you will know Sister Clara; the sales rep at that supermarket you used to shop from, who would refuse to smile at you when she says welcome. The one who, when you ask her playfully if they do not have any items on sale, responds curtly, with boring impatient eyes: madam if you are not buying anything, please let the next customer buy. I know Sister Clara, and I imagine that you do too. But I can swear Sister Clara is a really nice person, she is just not cut out for the job at the supermarket… so what to do?

The role of passion in the way we carry out our jobs cannot be undermined. Passion defines the quality of our outputs and our outputs (amongst other things) translate directly to business profitability. So, if paying the bills matter that much, we must constantly and continually find ways to make the jobs we do bearable, to find ways to make the job interesting to us, so that we can make its outcome interesting to the customers we serve.

Below are a few tips to achieving productivity and profitability in our individual lives:

  1. Be conscious about your choices:

When you can help it, be conscious and deliberate about your job choices. Understand where you desire to be in the future and take conscious steps towards arriving at your ultimate destination. It may not be easy at first, but keeping your ultimate goal in mind can help you streamline and make fulfilling decisions.

  1. No knowledge is lost:

You want to be a writer but you find yourself in the role of an administrator… learn from it. You don’t have to lose job to keep the dream.

  1. Don’t despise small beginnings:

It isn’t about how well we start but how big a finishing we make. The beginning may be tough, it may be slow and tedious; but if we allow ourselves understand that big things start from small beginnings, we are better able to appreciate our journey.

  1. Read a lot, read anything, read everything:

Read! Consciously and consistently. Learn something new everyday. It expands your thoughts, inspires new and better ways to engage with and be better at your job, and introduces you to the challenges people have faced at one time or the other and how they overcame them. Discover ways to be relevant and bring something you to the table.

  1. Identify your source of energy and surround yourself with plenty of that:

For some, it is listening to music; for others, it is brainstorming. Identify your own source of energy and key into it. But be careful not to over-indulge. Important questions to ask yourself with relation to your source of energy include: does it portend any harmful effects for me? Will it negatively affect the people around me? Remember, good vibes only.

  1. If it is worth doing at all, it is worth your best shot:

Whether it is your dream job or not, when you understand that there is really no point is giving less of yourself to anything you commit to; when you understand that every output or product you deliver is a reflection of your values, you are better able to give every task your best shot. What do you want your job to say about you? Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so make a fine one!

Bottom line, if you cannot do what you love, find ways to love what you do.