CAN WORK BE FUN?
Work means different things to different people. It can be paid or voluntary, part-time or full-time. And it ranges from keeping a happy home or workforce to hammering out deals in the board room. It is a place that we can either enjoy, hide behind, use as an excuse or distraction, and it is often a source of stress.
So is it possible to have more fun at work, and more importantly, is it possible to have a fun mindset towards work?
Throughout March I have spent my time trying out different strategies and approaches to both work and fun to find out for myself if I can have a more fun attitude towards work. In recent years my type of work and consequently my attitude to work has changed dramatically. Previously work was serious and ambitious and subsequently stressful. However, on reflection I can also see that during this time, work was also a bolt on to who I was. It was something I was trying to use to define myself and be, and yet this wasn’t authentic. I wasn’t my job and I wasn’t in the ‘right job’.
This has all changed now. Today my work is an integral part of who I am, it is authentic, it is enjoyable and yes I am one of the lucky ones who as able to say, hand on heart, I love my work. And yet it’s not to say I love every aspect of work. I have many throw backs to how I used to feel about work, and in particular certain aspects of work which can be important to any and every role. For example; finances. Finances stress me out. I can do them, I can manage them and I can keep on top of them, but finances and I have a power struggle. They try to take control and it takes a lot for me to take charge and reclaim the power back.
So did a fun mindset to work (& finances) help me out? Well actually yes it did!
Having a fun mindset was about approaching my daily tasks, challenges (& finances) in a light hearted way. That’s not to say I didn’t take it seriously and do a good job, I did, but my approach, and critically, my expectations of the amount of work in front of me, and how I felt about that, changed and had a softer, more kindly focus to it. When you have a fun mindset you let go of anxiety and enjoy things for what they really are. I approached my finances as if they were a clever puzzle I had to solve, I allowed my research to be a welcome break from other jobs or chores, and overall I applied some context to the ‘work’ I was faced with and got grateful for the fact that this was either ‘all’ I had to do, or, wasn’t I lucky to be able to do this for myself. I also ensured that every ‘dreaded’ task was followed up with a pre-planned reward – aka fun / silly activity. And my golden rule: never spend more than 1 hour and 30 minutes on any one task! Fun, work or otherwise. In fact if you can, try to hone it down to 1 hour per task. I’m saying expect to get it completed in 1 hour, but little and often gets the job done and adds incredible variety to your day.
So I invite you to approach your ‘work’ with a fun mindset, little and often, and I hope you too will soon discover that all aspects of life and work can and are fun!
Wishing you a happy and confident day
n.b. Please note that the above references to work do not include my attitude towards one to one work with clients. This I take very seriously and deal with in the utmost professional manner. I’m just lucky that for me, this is the most rewarding part of my ‘work’.