There is a large difference between important work and challenging work. I work for a large company and there is a plethora of work that is absolutely critical to get the job done. This in turn generates revenue for the company and typically makes the customers happy since it is work they contracted to get done. The problem is that this work is often easy and mundane. Simply requiring the employee to show up and be conscious to get done.
After reading, Seth Godin’s blog post, Why makers should think more like managers (and vice versa), it enlightened me to the point that more time should be put towards figuring out how to do challenging work.
Challenging work could be thinking about how to turn those critical tasks into completely automatic ones. Or get them done quicker and waste less time. In other words, disrupt the business as usual path. Often times this doesn’t even occur to people because of the “that’s just how things are done around here” mentality.
The benefits of this are plentiful but two good ones are the increased feeling of making a difference and the increase in value for customers (and the company).
Go and challenge yourself.