This post is a culmination of some recent thoughts, professional behaviors, past experiences and 3rd party expert information. Its purpose is to give all of us a reminder and insight into how to be more impactful with our work. I am not an expert in the field of organizational psychology, thus do not take this post as I am. I am however, a social person with perspective on this business topic, thus I am sharing.
4 ways to re-energize our work
This post is going to focus on 4 ways to re-energize our work, and surprisingly (maybe not so much) it starts with focusing on ourselves. Putting emphasis on basic things that in most respects are merely tangentially related to performing actual work.
Before I start to discuss the 4 things that can re-energize our work, let me set some context about what has led up to these ideas, and how personally, I became bogged down an in need of fresh perspective.
Recently a dear friend of mine took his life. Consider this portion of my post not only a way to grab your attention, but also a deeply moving impetus for self-reflection, in my life and hopefully in yours. Unfortunately I was unable to connect with him for months leading up to the event. This made me start to think …
Was I there for him enough over the past year? How can I connect with those around me better? Is there a way to live more impactful on a daily basis? Was I really doing what was best for me, for everyone around me?
The answers I came up with in self-reflection were not terribly satisfactory.
As a result I started to intentionally change some behaviors. Below I describe the 4 behaviors I hoped would deliver a better self-reflection on the above questions. After implementing these behaviors I not only saw positive results in my personal life, but at work as well. I make up this is additional impact at work is because we are humans before we are employees. After seeing results I decided to write a business blog post about it.
Life is short, let’s live it (and work it) together.
4 ways to re-energize our work.
1) Health first - get exercise, sleep and play
According to psychology today, the stress hormone cortisol is public enemy #1. This hormone blocks creativity, productivity, interferes with learning and memory, and impacts health issues such as blood pressure, cholesterol and bone density. If you are anything like me then the buildup of stress and cortisol is unavoidable. When this happens our fight or flight response is triggered. To combat this grab a daily release of stress, and your body and mind will thank you. Some helpful ways to reduce stress are, exercise, eating healthy, meditating and interestingly enough playing games at work can help. My current client just published an article yesterday talking about how play can make us more productive at work. So the timing of this post is surely fitting, let’s have fun at work.
2) Have passion – be passionate about things outside of work
It’s been well documented and researched that having passion about work can improve productivity. Researches call the effect of creative triggers combined with passion the flow state where employees can experience 5 times greater productivity. But what about having passion outside of work? How can this help with our passion for work, and performance at that? If you subscribe to the laws of physics they apply here, an object in motion stays in motion, and resulting, a person in passion stays in passion. Research also shows that happiness with life outside of work has a direct correlation with passion and performance at work. So you could say I am connecting happiness and passion to make the above statements as well.
When hours are getting long, and things start to slog along, it may sound counter intuitive but – take a break. Exploring some other passions besides work at these times can actually enhance what we bring to the table.
3) Set expectations - intentionally manage expectations, both upward & downward
There is an entrepreneur James Altucher, whose blog posts I always find informative, poignant and enlightening. I do not know what gives him the credit to say such things, but I longer care about that, I like what he has to say. He wrote a book called “The Power of No.” In this book he proclaims we can take our life back just by saying NO, and I’m inclined to believe him. Instead of being such a “Yes man,” we should start to think about being a “This is why I can (Yes or No) man.” For me personally I know that when I start saying, yes, yes, yes, it’s because I am insecure, unsure, and concerned about looking good. Unfortunately, none of those previous attributes lend themselves to quality work. No can seem hard to say but according to Psychology Today when used appropriately it is a sign of strength, maturity and emotional intelligence.
With the right tact, poise and self-awareness we can all start to say no to each other and yield better returns in the long run.
4) Open up – be open, authentic, and even vulnerable, share yourself
The most overlooked of all the above (and one I will be writing about more). As humans we need to feel connected and valued in order to contribute to our fullest potential. The way to connection is through vulnerability and authenticity. Brene Brown has written prolifically on this topic, her book “The Gifts of Imperfection, How to Live and Love With Your Whole Heart” gives us a guide on how to be intentional in our daily lives. There isn’t a more perfect way to answer all the questions I had after my friends passing then this book. Unfortunately, there is some debate whether being authentic at work is a good or bad thing. I subscribe to the notion that being authentic at any point is never a bad thing. When I open up and share more of myself with others it takes courage, but if I do it for the right reasons it only adds value to an original premise of this post, emotional interaction.
It’s my intent this post is even somewhat a display of the above behaviors. If you have taken the time to read this far, I hope something has stuck out you can take with you.
Thanks to those who have helped me over the years. Look forward to helping each other (whomever that may be) over the next.
Life is short, let’s live it (and work it) together.