REFLECTION: So often when we talk about balance and overload with respect to work and family life, work is portrayed as the villainous task-master. But that isn’t necessarily the case.
Recent research by Culbertson and Mills from Kansas State University reveals that invigorated and dedicated employees who are highly engaged in their work (but not workaholics or work addicts) tend to be better able to deal with issues at home, make better companions, and are more effective overall in the home environment.
We’ve long known that stress at work and stress at home don’t respect any perceived boundary between the two. So, it makes sense that a positive experience in the workplace would spill over into our home lives (and vice-versa).
ACTION: So, how exactly, do we cultivate a higher level of positive engagement in our work?
Here are a few starter steps:
- connect with the underlying meaning and purpose of the work
- learn how and why a specific activity or outcome makes a difference for those you serve
- commit yourself wholeheartedly to a task that awaits your attention
- do what you can to get clear about a task or direction that seems fuzzy at the moment
- create an opportunity to put one of your best skills to work
- build a strong positive relationship with a colleague in the workplace – you’ll become more invested in supporting each others’ success and well-being
- focus attention on tasks you accomplish and projects you advance – don’t be discouraged by an endless backlog
- celebrate what goes well every single day
Each small step that moves you in these directions will positively impact engagement at work for you and those around you – and, as we’ve seen in this research, improve life at home, too.
Gotta love those twofold investments!
QUOTES OF THE WEEK: “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi
“Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.” – Alexander the Great
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: For a first hand read of the Culbertson/Mills research see: http://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/aug09/worklife82409.html
READERS WRITE: In response to last week’s message, Finding The Fun, Pause reader DG writes: “Great quote, and message. I’ve been so doggedly determined in my work lately (doing a lot of things I’d rather not) that I’ve been missing my life, actually watching it go by. That’s crazy when I really don’t know if I’ll be here next year. None of us really do, right? Thanks for the reminder! I’m focusing on delighted engagement today!”