Embrace Your Grunt Work

In any job there are those tasks that just need to get done and they are not the most challenging of jobs either.  And there is no way around it.  This is the Grunt work and for everyone it is different, it could be fixing bugs, estimating your tasks, doing a code review, etc, etc, etc.

But it has to get done, it is part of our jobs.  Every job has it’s own set of grunt work as well – do you think Doctors like filling out prescriptions (maybe who knows) or at some point an athlete will get bored of running the same drill for the millionth time.  Or it’s the girl running her own company but despises doing invoices so she pushes it off till the last second.

The thing is we can’t ignore it – it’s a part of what we do and at times it is the piece that we need to do, to get out of the way so we can get to the good, creative stuff.

There is a misconception that as you move from a Junior to Intermediate to Senior Developer and then onto all those fancy titles of Engineer This and Architect That, that you become “too important” or “too good” to do that type of work even owing it to “being beneath me”.

Well that is backwards, the Grunt work is the work that puts you back in the trenches, gets your mind going and yes makes you appreciate where you are.  But all the while you might be having thoughts that go to;

  • How can we make this better?
  • Why does this take so long?
  • I wonder if I talked to Jeff, maybe this would be redundant?
  • How can I automate my invoices, is there a software that does this?
  • etc, etc, etc

Grunt work, the work of getting it done, is where some of our best ideas for innovation come from.

So don’t shun it, embrace it.

2 thoughts on “Embrace Your Grunt Work

  1. Couldn’t agree more, Greg. Well said!

    Grunt work (as opposed to busy work, which is not what Greg is talking about) is what getting-things-done is about. It’s the work I would rather do last, but really should be done first because it’s the more important task to complete.

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