One of my favorite blogs to read is The Simple Dollar by Trent Hamm. He does a daily blog generally about frugality but he also touches on many other subjects. He is a prolific writer, churning out 2 postings a day and I don’t think he’s missed a day yet. At least not since I’ve been following him. The other day he posted something sort of off the beaten path for him. The value of doing grunt work, or slog work as he called it. It’s the necessary but mind numbing work that exists in every job, whatever it is you do. It can be data entry, invoicing or in his case, dirt sifting. Really. He got paid to go through dirt. One of the most challenging things I am finding about this transition to working for myself is consistently and purposefully attacking the grunt work that exists for me. In my case, it’s doing things like auditioning on the pay-to-play sites, sending out an invoice, writing a blog post. Finding the concentration to just get it done isn’t the easiest thing for me. When I finish a post, it’s a natural ending point so I break off, go out of the office and it’s 45 minutes later before I return. Goofing off instead of going back to the list of topics I’ve identified I’d like to write about. I do the same thing when I finish an audition. I feel like I need a reward for completing something so I head to the fridge, or check my email for the 98th time, or get lost on the interwebs. All because of a lack of focus and discipline to just get the job done. I used to have the same problem when it came to doing forecasting reports but I was able to knuckle down and plow through them. I need to find the same focus I had then and apply it to my work today. I know I can do it, it’s just a matter of figuring out how I did it before and doing it again. It’s not fun, but it is necessary. It’s on the back of diligence that a strong career is forged. If you can do the dirt sifting well, you will excel at the bigger tasks.