What are you waiting for?
Who doesn’t like to have fun? Well, only when what we have to do isn’t, well, fun….
Recently one of my singing students confessed that she didn’t like to practice because it wasn’t “fun”.
I then asked her if she had fun while singing. “Yes.” Was the reply. Well, practice is singing, so what’s the difference?
She had some trouble articulating that (well, she is 10 years old), but it got me thinking – adults do this, too. They take the ‘fun’ out of the work they need to do to attain a particular result or goal.
I’ve done it – it’s partly procrastination, but also partly how we view ‘fun’. We are responsible for the amount of ‘fun’ we have with a particular activity. Truly.
I am definitely a master of what I call ‘noble procrastination’. I often procrastinate doing what’s most pressing and urgent for something that I find more, well, fun, and not nearly as urgent.
Then, when I’ve filled time doing that, I crunch out what I should have been working on in less time. I could blame my extensive post-secondary education for this habit, but that’s just part of the equation. I also enjoy working under pressure, and sometimes, I just like to start the ‘fun’ stuff first.
Let’s wrap it back to speaking terms. Specifically, public speaking.
So, you’ve been asked to speak at an event in a month’s time. You’re a bit nervous, as it’s the first time you’ve been invited to speak to this group, but you know some of them, and it’s an overall ‘friendly’ gig.
Great. Three days before the event, you still haven’t written your speech, you’re feeling like crap, because you’ve researched your topic, you’ve got it all ‘in your head’, and hoping like anything that you can just ‘wing’ your speech to this fine group.
You’re feeling this way, because the preparation and practice of your speech wasn’t the ‘fun’ part. The doing stuff you’re good at is the fun part. Maybe it’s the researching. Perhaps it was watching 15 TEDtalks on public speaking that was the fun part.
Regardless, you didn’t find the curation and practice of your own speech, well, fun.
How are you going to add more ‘fun’ to your daily activities?
I think it comes back to how we each define ‘fun’.
I love singing and I love performing. I tend to procrastinate on the practice, but I love the RESULT the practice has, so that for me is where the fun it. Starting the practice is just the beginning. Once I’m practicing, I’ll lose myself in the music and the phrases, etc.
But, music IS Fun, people might say.
Yes – it is – but so is your speech!
Part of the trick to this is finding the FUN in each element of your preparation. Curiosity is part of the road map to fun.
Sure, researching is fun, but put a limit, or come up with a reward system for getting certain milestones done in your preparation.
For example – I just completed 25/30 days of a personal yoga practice. I made it as simple as possible, with a little paper calendar taped on the wall and stickers to reward my daily practice. Fun, right?
For your speech preparation, give yourself a measurement tool and reward the process so that you can put some FUN into your preparation.
When it comes to practicing a speech – please, please, do NOT start practicing it in front of a mirror right away. All it will do is distract you from actually speaking your speech.
Play games with your speech. What happens when you emphasize different words? What if you take a pause between these two paragraphs?
Record yourself on audio as you do this, so you can have a little record of your speech. And here’s the fun part – listen to the audio with a sense of curiosity. Put the ‘judgy’ hat away for now.
What sounded good? What was better than you thought?
Take that and run with it.
Bring that sense of curiosity and fun to your edits and your practice.
Once you have practiced a few times, then you can come up with a reward system for preparation. Set some milestones for preparation with a small fun reward for each.
What’s fun for you? Maybe a walk in the park? How about a trip to your favourite ice-cream shop? Watching a favourite movie with a glass of your chosen beverage?
By rewarding these milestones, you are finding the fun in these activities where you might not think to first look.
So – how are you going to add more ‘fun’ to your daily activities? Share some of your favourite fun rewards and processes. You can leave a comment below, or you can share your fun over on my Facebook Page.