The importance of enjoyment in a thriving career struck me whilst watching a programme on TV last October. On the RTE Documentary, ‘Winning’, Irish rugby legend Paul O’Connell emphasised that enjoying the pursuit of your career goals is key to a successful career. It was a very impactful message, particularly coming from a person who came across as intense, fierce and competitive throughout their playing career.
It can be easy to focus more on what we don’t have rather than take time to enjoy the gains we make. Consequently, discipline is required to ensure that we find ourselves enjoying the positive experiences along our respective career journeys.
Here’s three tips to help you create that discipline:
Keep a gratitude journal:
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey
Our day happens at a pace. Taking time to reflect on the enjoyable moments that happened during the working day is important. Firsly, it almost always allows for a more positive perspective on the day’s events. In addition, it also consigns positive moments to writing, when they otherwise may be lost as a memory altogether.
Take ‘reward breaks’:
How often do you find after doing something well, the automatic response may well be, ‘what next on the ‘to-do’ list?’.
The act of taking time out after a successful end to a work activity is a terrific way to embed enjoyment into your working routine. It need only be a cup of coffee, a phone call to a loved one to share your success story, or a drink after work with colleagues. This work ritual of taking time to enjoy, reward and praise your work efforts is shown to help adopt a growth mindset and increase the likelihood of reproducing those efforts next time out.
Make the most of your (and others) role composition:
We all in our roles have work activities that we naturally enjoy and equally things we must do by necessity, yet without any real enjoyment (let’s call them ‘tasks of necessity’). With that reality in mind, constantly look at how you can maximize the time you spend on the activities you really enjoy in work. And equally how you can tackle those tasks of necessity as efficiently as possible.
Strategies such as effective delegation and committing a certain allocation of your diary each week to ‘blitz’ tasks of necessity, can help hugely in maximising the time you give to the more enjoyable components of your role.
As cliched as the phrase may be, we each have only one career journey. Therefore, it’s imperative that we take steps to ensure we enjoy the process of trying to achieve our goals. Here’s an uncomplicated way for you to commence a commitment to the concept; write, at the end of the working day you read this post, three things that you were grateful for during the day.