Labor Day thoughts: Relax, and enjoy your work

Office_FlickrCombing through my zillions of Twitter favorites this Labor Day morning, I ran across these two gems from last February.

Both posts seemed to be appropriate reads for this day set aside to honor and recognize the achievements of the American worker, so I thought I’d share them.

If you’re off the grid for this holiday — and I hope most of you are — then perhaps this will make good reading for the coming, short workweek.

1. Joy at work: It’s your right. This Harvard Business Review post by Allison Rimm, an executive coach, is a must-read for all of us who don’t want to let go of the details for fear of losing control. Rimm writes that “achieving joy at work is not only possible; it’s a necessity.”

I’ve come to appreciate that happiness on the job is a leading indicator of an individual’s ability to sustain high levels of passion, performance, and productivity over the long run. If we can uncover our true gifts and find work that makes regular use of them, we’ve fulfilled our responsibility to use them wisely and we’ve optimized our chances for claiming our right to enjoy the process.

Maybe it’s just an amplification of that trite cliche: Do what you love and love what you do. But Rimm is on to something here. If you’re going to do work, you should enjoy it. And you have a right to enjoy it. (Hat tip to Kim McGrath of Wake Forest University for sharing the post on Twitter.)

2. Relax! You’ll be more productive. This New York Times piece by Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project, In this article, Schwartz talks about the importance of taking breaks during the work day to enhance performance. “The importance of restoration is rooted in our physiology,” he writes. “Human beings aren’t designed to expend energy continuously. Rather, we’re meant to pulse between spending and recovering energy.”

So plan to build some breaks into your work this week. You’ll be better off, and so will your organization. (And if you can sneak in a nap every now and then, so much the better.)

(Hat tip to Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who knows a thing or two about being productive, for the share.)

Update, thanks for Mike Petroff, who shared this):

3. Slowing the work treadmill. Harvard business professor Teresa Amabile on why we would be better off doing less. “In the short term,” she says, “people become less engaged in their work if their creativity isn’t supported. They will also be less productive because they often can’t focus on their most important work. In the long term, companies may lose their most talented employees, as well as losing out because they won’t have the innovative products, innovative services, and business models that they need to be competitive.”

Photo: Hard Day at the Office, by Craig Sunter-Click 64.

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Author: andrewcareaga

Higher ed PR and marketing guy. Communications director for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, USA. Slow runner, mediocre guitarist, lover of music and puns, and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. I blog and Tweet about #highered, #music, #gocards and #random stuff.

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