Painting a room can teach you three business lessons that can help your career. Recently, I decided to change the color of the walls of my office. While I haven’t painted for a few years, I thought it would be fun to pick up the brush and the rollers.
The project turned out well and I realized painting can teach you a lot about success in business. Here are some tips that can help you become more productive in your career.
Fight Your Tendencies
For me, putting the paint on the wall is the exciting part. I don’t enjoy installing drop cloths and carefully taping certain parts of the room. This kind of work bores me. My tendency is to get to the fun stuff, painting in this case, as soon as possible.
Despite this inclination, I knew the success of the project depended on my paying attention to these little details. Doing the job correctly from the start, would save me time, I’d otherwise spend on fixing mistakes like drips and splatter.
In your workplace, are you tempted to skip or rush through the dull work that could ultimately produce success? How much time do you spend fixing mistakes, at the end, that could have been prevented by paying attention to these details at the start.
I could make peace with the less exciting stuff by realizing I was investing in the success of the project, rather than being punished by boring work.
Have a Plan
When it came time to paint, I realized it was time to have some strategy. Some walls would be easy to paint. Other sections involved windows, doors, and duct work, requiring more concentration and deliberate movements.
I had to think about how I was going to spend my time. Would it be a good idea to do the easy stuff first and then move on to sections that required more focus?
As someone who doesn’t paint much, I also had to consider the physical toll. Would I want to be doing the same repetitive action for long periods of time, potentially flirting with muscle strain?
By taking a moment to think about how to approach the project, I was able to make it a more successful experience.
When approaching a task, are you just, jumping into it, or are you taking a moment to consider your best approach? Just because you’ve found one way to do something, doesn’t mean it’s the best way. If a process isn’t working smoothly, consider changing it.
For example, you may want to do high concentration work early in the day, as opposed to trying to get it done five minutes before closing time.
While painting is not extremely complex work, there are some tricks to the trade. I spent a few minutes looking online for some best practices and advice. As a visual learner, it helps me to see a video of a process, rather than just read about it.
Should you rely on what you know about something being all that you need to know? This is why professional development is so important for career success. In a changing world, competency is like a moving target.
It’s a smart investment of time to attend conferences, network with professionals in your field, and read or watch information about your field.
Even if you’re a pro, checking on outside expertise will, at a minimum, confirm you’re on the right path.
Final Thought on Three Business Lessons from Painting
The final product is a lasting reminder of your success. Use these three business lessons to make your masterpiece.