10 Ways to Enjoy Work Now
You spend much of life working. Enjoy work so you can enjoy life.
Enjoy work or hate life.
10 ways to enjoy work:
#1. Don’t work.
One of the best ways to enjoy work is to turn off, shut down, and unplug.
You need new work if you dread work after taking time off.
#2. Respect energy.
- Do hard work when you’re at your best.
- Minimize energy drains.
- Fill your own tank.
#3. Notice contribution.
What contributions most excite you? Find ways to do more of that.
#4. Enjoy people.
Make of list of your own quirks, frailties, and weaknesses. Everyone is imperfect, even you.
- Accept people’s quirks and frailties.
- Respect positive traits. Honor how they contribute.
- Stop fixing.
- Know the three top strengths of everyone on the team.
Retrain, reassign, or remove people who don’t contribute.
#5. Establish rituals.
Healthy doses of turbulence and instability add excitement. Rituals add predictability and stability.
- Start the day slowly.
- Choose how you show up.
- Create a gratitude journal.
#6. Break rituals.
Rituals get boring. Break boring rituals and establish new ones.
#7. Discover why.
Things you don’t like are less painful when they serve a higher purpose.
- How have painful experiences formed your desire to make a difference?
- How are people’s lives better because of your contribution?
- What contributions energize you?
#8. Choose models.
Notice how you currently imitate others. My dad taught me how to love my wife by loving mom. But he worked too hard.
- Jettison negative imitation; embrace positive.
- Find yourself by intentionally imitating people you admire.
You hate work when fake-it-till-you-make-it dominates your day.
#9. Develop yourself.
Seek advisers, mentors, and coaches.
Everyone needs support from someone who doesn’t have a dog in the fight.
#10. Respect yourself.
Do more of what matters to you.
Which way to enjoy work speaks to you?
What might you add to the above list?
I enjoy your articles. One thing I agree with but don’t know how to achieve is a mentor. It just seems like everyone is busy and know one cares for it anymore. Or maybe it is just me. If I were to approach you for mentorship, what is the most important thing you would want me to focus my delivery on?
Thanks Prince. You ask a great question and bring up a real challenge. Here are a few ideas on finding mentors.
1. Being a mentee is being a learner. Learn from people you respect who are in your current circle. Let them know you are learning from them. Tell them what observed about them, what you did differently based on your observation, and what you learned. Ask for their feedback and suggestions.
2. Approaching people out of the blue is difficult. Figure out how you might add value to a prospective mentor and do that before you approach them. I’ve been approached by people who regularly leave comments on Leadership Freak and/or frequently share my work on their social media channels. Many do this for years. When they ask for something, I’m eager to contribute.
3. Make a small ask. One 15-minute conversation with a specific objective is more appealing than, “Would you be my mentor.”
4. Have a goal in mind. Choose to work on something that is relevant to a prospective mentor’s focus. Declare your goal and ask a couple open ended questions.
5. Learn about the prospective mentor and show them respect. Let them know what motivated you to reach out.
6. One study shows that 61% of mentor/mentee relations develop naturally.
7. Don’t give up.
I wish you well. The thing that changes us most is people.
This is absolutely the right thing to focus on, Prince. When I found myself self-employed, I really had to learn this in a hurry, and I found that building relationships just takes time and perseverance.
Learn all you can by listening to what people you respect for their trustworthiness and competence are already saying, in writing and talks, at conferences, in your workplace or professional association, wherever. When you do approach them, they will recognize you as someone who has put in the work to get as far as you can on your own. When I was an instructor, I would sometimes tell students, “Come back when you are truly stuck, and I will really enjoy helping you.”
Don’t reach too “high.” I’ve learned a lot from “nobodies” who were actually very good at something I wanted to learn.
I found that once people learned that I wasn’t looking for a job, or trying to sell them something, respected their time, and had done my homework, they were mostly really glad to help.
Dan, you had me right up to number 4, Enjoy people. Can’t abide people, me!
Seriously, regarding doing the hard(est) work when you’re at your best, most people don’t have the chance. The expectation is that you work at the same intensity from the moment you walk in until the moment you leave, irrespective of what you are doing at any moment. By the time you’ve audited the paper clips, you don’t have the energy to fix real problems!
Thanks Mitch. Energy management is often neglected. The truth is no one can run at 100% capacity very long. It’s amazing that leaders don’t acknowledge this about themselves and others.
How long can an athlete run at full speed before they fall down?
A great manager designs work around real human beings.
Even if you don’t enjoy people, see if you can get curious about them. They are all doing what makes sense to them, even if it doesn’t make sense to you. A lot of them have really big feelings inside and they are responding to them. Cultivate gratitude. When one of them gets it right, even if it was dumb luck, say, “Thanks, I appreciated that!” or “I saw you do X just now, that’s cool!” Read some books about conflict, cognitive biases, etc. “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” “Difficult Conversations,” and “How to Solve Your People Problems” are some of my favorites.
People are easier to put up with when I remember that God (and a lot of other people) put up with me 😉
Absolutely a great article filled with wonderful facts! I am on point with most of these, but I definitely need to focus on #5 and #6, creating healthy and breaking unproductive rituals.
Thanks Rosanne. Rituals became more important to me during COVID. But, I don’t want them to own me!
“Retrain, reassign, or remove people who don’t contribute.” So important! I find that the key is to know when to do which, how to get others on board, and manage it in a way that is not draining. I love the idea of managing my energy throughout the day to concentrate on tougher tasks when I am more alert and focused. I have to audit my energy levels during the day to notice patterns.
Thanks Bardohn5. You might expect your best time to be in the morning. But, I had a client whose best time was from 3 to 6 p.m. In any case, it’s useful to know when you’re at your best and then try to design your day around that. Cheers