You guessed it, February's theme is all about love. Except we aren't talking about a valentine here, we wanted to take the opportunity to focus on the thing we spend one-third of our lives doing — work. And, how to love it.
Much like a relationship, it is important to maintain our relationship with our work. We've created a space here at coLAB that allows people to step outside the traditional walls of working and ultimately enhance their work-life into something that they sincerely enjoy. The [developing] future work model that the pandemic has forced us into is very familiar to us. The coworking industry was birthed from people searching for different ways to enhance their performance of their work and ultimately, love what they do everyday.We've pulled together a few additional things below to help us love our work...
Know and develop your “why”
As humans who are 1.) innately purpose-driven 2.) need a sense of purpose and 3.) are living in a pandemic, we all have reasons why we’ve landed the careers we are in today. No matter where you are in your journey, knowing our why not only helps us get out of bed in the morning, it is also what keeps us getting out of bed every morning. However, as the majority of us are working near our beds and waking up to what feels like groundhog day everyday, it is extremely helpful to continually develop our why. Here are some ways to do so...
First, if you haven’t done so already, set aside at least 15 minutes to write down all of the reasons why you are doing what you are doing. Consider writing this on something you can frame or post up somewhere for you to occasionally look at.
If you’ve done this many times, consider these developing steps...
Next to your “why” statements, consider adding a “so that…”
For example, if you are working to support your family, consider adding “so that ____ can go to college or “so that we can have more home cooked meals and spend time together.”
Before the start of a new week or a new month, write down specific reasons why and what you are working towards for that week/month.
For example, “This week, I am working so that I can develop myself professionally by a, b, and c….” Or, “This week I am working so that I can connect with 2 new customers on a personal level.” Feel free to keep these light and fun if you’d like. This step is not focusing too far in the future, this step helps us to practice appreciating some of the little things we do throughout the week. It also helps to keep us more present.
Consistently expanding our why allows us to get to our core values in life - this we believe is what truly keeps us getting out of bed in the morning.
Take (or retake) a strengths or personality test
Our strengths and personality both reflect who we are and what we love. When we are performing in our strengths, we experience joy and fulfillment. Some of us are working way too hard on altering our weaknesses rather than capitalizing on the strengths and talents we already possess. And, some of us may be forcing ourselves to perform a role that doesn't align with who we are. Do you know what these strengths are? Consider taking a test or dust off your test results and find ways to use your strengths to boost your role. Some tests we recommend:
Know your limits and learn your boundaries.
When we know our limits and set boundaries where we need to, it is far more likely for us to enjoy the day after the occasional back-to-back meeting. We no longer dread the work day, but are able to approach the day confident that we will know how to handle anything that comes our way. While we all have meetings that we don’t enjoy, we can still work around them to be productive and enjoyable. For example, if you know that you have a handful of meetings, be sure to schedule enough time in between them to take a small break, And, as a bonus, plan to use the rest of the day completing a task that is fun for you or requires little energy. Scheduling our calendars has to be in favor of our own personal limits and boundaries. Boundaries are not only there to help you say “no.” Boundaries help define what you are responsible for and what you are not responsible for. And at the end of the day, we are responsible for our wellbeing and happiness.
Invest in your environment.
Whether you recognize it or not, we are all very sensitive to the environments around us. What we are surrounded by can strongly influence our moods, behaviors, and motivations. Think about a memorable house or building you’ve walked into - how did it make you feel? When you’ve walked into a building with beautiful art and minimal items, did it make you feel calm or empty? When you walk into a coffee shop, does the energy and interior design motivate you or does it make you want to turn around and walk right out? In an article by Work Design Magazine, focusing on wellbeing, it states, “Connections to nature and outdoor spaces can yield tremendous health benefits, including reduced stress, increased cognitive function and more.” Consider adding plants around or near your workspace, adjusting the light if possible, declutter, look into aroma therapy, or add visually stimulating items or art pieces that help to motivate and encourage you.
If you are unable to change the environment around you or need to change your environment completely, research your local coworking space. Flexible spaces like these offer you the opportunity to have a hybrid work environment. You get to choose from multiple memberships and dictate which days to work from home and which days to go into the office or a professional work environment that they provide for you.
Let us know if you find any of these things helpful and what things you do to love the work you do everyday.
All the best,
Jess & Dess