Soul Sculpting Project: Getting Some Things Done
I keep trying to play this game I made up called, Getting Everything Done. It’s not going well.
I’ve done the math – hours in a day divided by things I want to get done always equals not possible. And trying to do the ‘not possible’ leads to deep frustration. I was reading Ecclesiastes this morning and discovered a new set of directions for the Game.
Discovery #1 I need a new game title: Getting Everything Done is not the point of the game. So change the word every to the word some. New Title: Getting Some Things Done.
Discovery #2 I win the game by finding enjoyment in what I do.
The object of the Game is not getting as much done as possible.
The Object of the Game is finding as much enjoyment as possible in the doing.
This enjoyment is a gift from God.
There is nothing better for a person than to . . . enjoy their work. . . this is from God’s Hand. (Ecclesiastes 2:24)
A little Psychology:
In 2012 a group of researchers examined the effects of two types of motivation on business mangers.
Motivation 1: Managers who were driven to work. They work because they felt the must/should work. Motivation 2: Managers who were primarily motivated by enjoyment of work.
Results: Researchers discovered that managers motivated by enjoyment experienced:
- greater career satisfaction,
- greater self-esteem,
- and less psychological strain
- while maintaining high performance.
Work driven managers experienced less career satisfaction, lower self-esteem and greater psychological stress. (And I am guessing they were not very fun to work with either.)
Bottom Line of the study: Enjoying our work increases our well-being.
Researchers: Laura. M Graves (Clark U), Todd J. Weber (U of Lincoln Nebraska), Marian N. Ruderman, Patricia J. Ohlott.
So how do we find enjoyment in our work? That is the topic I invite you to explore with me this week.
Here are three possible paths to take as we explore.
Path 1. Presence. Be fully present with each task.
Research shows that we are happier when our minds are present with the task at hand, rather than wandering about. This is true even if the current task is not that pleasant and our mind wandering is about our up-coming vacation. Happiness is found when our minds are on our current work. See the work of Matt Killington , Stay in the Moment Ted Talk
Path 2. Gratitude.
Finding things we can be grateful for in our work will increase our well-being and move us down the road of enjoyment. Even the business world is paying attention to the benefits of gratitude in the workplace. A recent Forbes article noted the vast body of research demonstrating that gratitude increases productivity, job satisfaction, and physical and mental health.
Path 3. Pay attention to the work of Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi (known for research on Flow).
Here are 4 parts of his larger formula for creating a sense of deep enjoyment in our work.
- Do a task we have a chance of completing
- We must be able to concentrate on what we are doing
- The task has clear goals
- The task provides immediate feedback
Soul Sculpting Project: The Game of Getting Some Things Done
Game objective: Finding as much enjoyment as possible in my work.
- Select a task or time period.
- Find as much enjoyment as possible in doing the task.
Read the directions.
Getting things done is a game.
Getting everything done is not the object.
Look at God playing, Create the Earth.
God’s been at it a long time and everything isn’t done yet.
We only win the game by finding enjoyment in what we do.
It’s in the directions.
Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 and 5:18-20.