Monday, November 01, 2010

Since Work is Long, also Make it Meaningful!

So it would seem that our work hours are not going to get any shorter either at work or elsewhere. Some would say, taking a longer historic perspective, that they are in fact shorter than they used to be. That's not making us feel better though. Let's face it, life is work.

So since we cannot shorten our work hours, I submit we should focus on transforming the quality of the work we do in those hours. This is in our control even if the other is not. We have so many opportunities to do this every moment. We can do it in the attention to detail and the crafts(person)ship we bring to our tasks, in the compassion and empathy we bring to our work relationships, in the the celebration of good result, and the gathering of learnings from unexpected results. The point is that with proper attention, compassion, empathy, celebration and learning, we can significantly raise the quality of our many work ours. Since this is our life (literally), why not live as high quality a work life as possible. This does not come natural but can be learned with patient, persistent practice, and to our benefit and all those around us.

Bring this greater quality to our long work hours requires:

1. slowing down our attention, if not our pace

2. being passionately detached and you can read more about this at my blog post on this topic

3. being deliberate in "starting with the end in mind" and being mindful to celebrate when that end is reached

4. valuing effectiveness in our work at least as much as efficiency.

As you take these steps, take time to reflect on the meaning your work is making in terms of your ability to:

1. provide and model for your family

2. improve the lives and wellbeing of your customers

3. develop your own character, reputation and skills.

Good "quality & meaning making" to you!

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