Can hard work make you happy at work
Productivity Improvement | 04.02.2014

Can hard work make you happy at work?

While growing up I was always inundated with advice like ‘patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success’, ‘an ant on the move does more than a dozing ox’ or ‘it seems the harder I work the more luck I have’.

With this ideology I got into this mode where I focused only on the result and worked towards it but I was pretty clueless about the process. I observed that this pattern had gotten translated to workplaces as well. For instance, a manager assigns only the goals and time deadlines to his team, however there is a near vacuum when it comes to the process, effort or the productivity bit.

Soon I realized that this system was taking me nowhere and I was stuck in this cyclone which resulted in nothing but time and effort loss. It was the vacuum that was infecting my work and I needed a strong dose of ‘productivity-biotics’ to set this record straight.

After this realization, for starters, I just began observing my patterns and their repercussions:

  • In a high of motivation, taking on too much which resulted in spreading myself thin
  • Playing ‘rapid fire’ with my thoughts, translating in a lack of in depth focus
  • Pushing the most challenging task till the last minute only to suffer a panic attack
  • Inability to detach myself from the chain of twitter chats and links

To fix this patterns, the productivity-biotics I resolved to were:

  • Brutal honesty when it came to justifying more tasks that I could take up or not
  • Allotting 45 minutes of undisturbed and undistracted work spurts
  • Challenging myself to finish the dessert [easiest task] last
  • Disconnecting from digital distractions and allocating specific time to update myself on social media

To begin with, these alterations were no child’s play. I had the toughest time when it came to concentrating for 45 minutes at a stretch and staying away from my twitter fans. Research says, it takes 21 days for the body-mind mechanism to adopt a habit, so after a month’s war with myself, I could see the metamorphosis. I was spending lesser time on tasks but was getting more done at the same time. The ideas I had were more creative, I could spend more time on new learnings and research, and all this with no compromise on my social media bliss. My brain had switched to this auto pilot mode of constantly challenging status quo and generated some brilliant ideas and thankfully it is still in that mode, I hope…

I can’t always explain the transformation but now everything seems less stressful, productive and just plain happier, so for me it doesn’t seem like hard work at all.

I would love to know if you have any similar tales that we can bond on.