Bringing Pleasure to Mind-Numbing Tasks: Finding Delight in Hours of Work

Creative Process - Graduation Gift


Listening to music keeps me going only for so long. It’s great when I’m working on several different things or I need create a mood or ambience in my studio. But music doesn’t help me look forward to tackling a big commissioned project, or aid in holding my attention long enough to power through getting the work done, and avoiding boredom. My favorite new way to enrich the whole process is listening to audiobooks.


Before my recent re-introduction to audio books via digital media, I thought of them mostly as a snoozy way to pass the time on family road trips. Since I used to sleep through 85% of those trips, I was never able to become engrossed in any of the classics that we borrowed from the library (The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only one I can even remember).


Fast forward to today… I had exhausted all of my TED and Freakonomics podcasts, and was looking for something that was longer than 50 minutes… I love learning and never have enough time to read, so when I re-read the book The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life, which suggests that audiobooks can be a great way to get more books into your life I realized that I should give them another chance. Hooray! I’m glad I did! Once I get into a good one, it even makes me look forward to hours and hours of work. Here are a few I’ve really enjoyed thus far:


  • Bossy Pants by Tina Fey

I was laughing alone in my studio throughout this one. It was especially wonderful because she read it herself, and it included additional clips from SNL skits that wouldn’t have even been in the book!


  • Drive by Daniel H. Pink

There were many interesting concepts in Drive about what motivates people and why the general foundations of most businesses (as in bonus structures and monetary rewards) can even have a negative influence. We need autonomy, mastery, purpose!


  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

I’ve been meaning to take a look at this one for some time now, and I’m just midway through, but I’m finding it useful for more conscious living.



Another great thing about audiobooks is that I’m more willing to listen to books that I might find too boring to actually read– this includes things that are out of my normal range of interests.


I haven’t listened to anything from here yet, but I just that a huge range of free audiobooks can be downloaded at LibriVox.


I’d love to know if you’ve experimented with audiobooks, and which ones you loved.


Here’s to getting more reading into our lives!

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