Okay, I know what you are going to say, “Have fun at work? This must be a joke?” but no, this isn’t a tag line just to get some quick click views. You really can have fun at work and enjoy what you do if you follow these easy steps.
How can focusing at work make you have more fun? Well, if you focus on the tasks at hand and make strategic decisions to control your time, prioritize what is important, get rid of unnecessary distractions and think before reacting, you will find yourself making a greater impact in your work and at your organization. By forcing yourself to take a more thoughtful approach to your tasks each day, you will also find yourself becoming more proactive which will translate directly into fewer problems/mistakes and less aggravation. All of this means you will end up accomplishing more which gives a greater sense of well-being, in general. Feeling a sense of accomplishment makes us all feel better about ourselves: it makes us more confident by feeling more valued and, ultimately, needed.
If you are new to your job, it is your responsibility to invest in yourself and your career by learning everything you can about the work you are doing, the organization you represent and the ways you can help support your organization’s goals and mission. When I was starting out, I would play little games with myself to keep on task and stay focused. For example, I would look at the clock and say to myself, “if I can fill this job within 15 minutes, I win!” Playing games like this may sound silly, but I read (many decades later) that all of the best salespeople do things like this to keep themselves motivated.
If you are more senior in your job, it is imperative that you remember that every day still affords new learning experiences. It is your responsibility to yourself, your colleagues/teammates to take on more tasks, step outside your comfort zone and volunteer to do more. It is only when you take on a new challenge and/or take the initiative to do things before you are asked that you can feel a true sense of pride/ownership. Ultimately, this will bring job success and self-satisfaction.
We all know the old adage that “two heads are better than one.” This is absolutely true in your work! It takes a concerted effort every day to be a part of a great team who are all on the same page with the same mission/goals/values. Developing unity/camaraderie can only happen in an environment where there is trust, mutual respect, and where open conversation and feedback is valued, appreciated and acted upon. The “divide and conquer” approach whereby each employee knows exactly what they need to do, how to do it efficiently, and how they can use their strengths to contribute to the overall mission of the organization/team fosters a sense of belonging and again, accomplishment. A great team can laugh at mistakes, build each other up and cheer each other on when things get tough, and can also help pick up the slack when one of the members is down. If you aren’t a part of a great team I suggest you try to make one!
To nurture is to care for and encourage the growth or development of someone. If you have a boss who cares about your growth/development and your future, you are lucky! Yes, it can be painful at times to get constructive criticism or to be asked: “how could you have done that better”, but in the end, if you listen and learn and change your course of action the next time you encounter a situation, you will have grown and accomplished something for yourself. If you aren’t that fortunate, then you will need to find a way to challenge yourself in your work and/or find a mentor. Either way, when you are challenged and can rise to the occasion and do something you never thought you could do before, you will feel pleasure in your successes. If you are a senior member of your team, take the time and show interest in the rookies in your organization. Offering advice, lending a hand, coaching and leading the way feels good and is good for the organization!
In conclusion, focus on your work and do the very best you can do each day. Take the time to invest in yourself and your career. Work on being a valuable teammate and nurture new employees. If you do these simple yet rewarding things, I can guarantee you will have fun at work and enjoy what you do.
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