The one question I asked myself to turn work I hated into work I loved

Did you love your first job in law? I didn’t.

My first job was in conveyancing. It was high pressure and I felt like I was always working to someone else’s timeline. What made it worse was that the work was routine. I was doing the same thing over and over, but still feeling stressed. I’d often wake up in the night and panic that I’d forgotten to lodge a contract for duty assessment and would incur penalties, or that I’d settled a property without collecting the duplicate title. (I never did that, by the way!) Rather than throw it in, instead I set about creating a system for my work.

Every time I did a task I’d ask myself what I needed to change so that I never had to do it again. That meant distilling my work to a clear process – a routine set of tasks that I followed every time, in the same order. I built clever templates so I never had to enter data twice. I made my software responsible for remembering all those things that would keep me awake at night. Turns out, these systems meant we could deliver a better service in half the time and without the stress. I taught others how to deliver the service using my process and turned work I hated into work I loved.

Although I didn’t realise it at the time, I’d created my very first productised legal service.

I’ve now spent over 10 years designing productised services that result in a better service for our customers and more enjoyable work for our staff. And it all started with that one question: what can I change so I never have to do this again? So, ask yourself: what can you change so you never again have to do the work you don’t enjoy?

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