In the sporting world athletes now and then fall into ’the zone’. It’s a rare and illustrious place whereby everything seems to flow naturally and makes your job seem easy and effortless. Suffice to say, such a beautiful state also makes life pretty enjoyable.
When you’re in that kind of situation, time tends to fly by. How many of us can honestly say we experience that kind of feeling at work, and if you can, how often does it occur? The incredibly low employee engagement statistics suggest that the number is sadly rather low.
For many of us, work is simply something we have to do in order to put money in our pockets, and food on our table. Of course, we continue plugging away, hoping that one day we’ll land the job we love, or we’ll get promoted and it will all be worthwhile.
There are ways that we can make our work more enjoyable however. There is a long history of complex and challenging tasks from the gaming world being enormously enjoyable, so there is no reason why your own work cannot fall into this category too.
These games have much they can teach us about making our work fun. They often feature many of the 8 types of stimuli that make tasks enjoyable. Check them out below and see how many you can apply to your own work.
8 ways you can make your work more enjoyable
- Solve a problem. Solving challenges is something built into our very DNA. Indeed, it’s often the routine aspects of our work that are the most boring. Stretching yourself to the limits however can be very rewarding indeed, so try and add challenges to your work.
- Teamwork. Nearly all games have some elements of teamwork in them, with the massive multiplayer online worlds so common in the latest online games giving us a ready stream of examples of how potent we are when working together. Humans are natural collaborators, so use all of the facilities at your disposal to work more with your colleagues.
- Success. A few years ago Harvard’s Teresa Amabile published The Progress Principle. The book was the bible for how small wins at work underpin our happiness. Achieve that progress or success each day, and happiness awaits.
- Recognition. We live in an age of almost constant feedback. Whenever you do something online you are almost instantly told how you’ve done. That flow of information hits our desire for recognition, so get a frequent stream of feedback on your performance if you want to enjoy work.
- Explore things. When we solve a problem that’s outside of our comfort zone, we almost inevitably have to learn new things in order to do so. This process of learning is an inherently rewarding experience and should be a daily part of your work life.
- Be creative. Coming up with fresh and innovative ideas gives us a great buzz, but seldom do we get a chance to do that, especially if we are relatively junior in our organisation. Nevertheless, there are still ways we can attack our own work in new and innovative ways, so try and be creative where you can.
- Sharing knowledge. Everyone loves an ego boost, and there is little as rewarding as being regarded as the expert in our field. Helping out a colleague therefore can be hugely enjoyable, and it will also help your career enormously, especially as organisations are increasingly trying to foster cultures of collaboration.
- Doing new things. It’s well known that in any relationship, it pays to keep things fresh. This is no different in your relationship with your job and employer. Try and regularly introduce new ways of doing things into your job to keep it interesting.
How many of these have you incorporated into your own work life? Your thoughts and comments below please…