for a strong, fast pick-me-up
Do you ever have those catch-ups with friends where you leave so re-energised?
You’re in the middle of a busy, draining day – yet a catch-up clears your head and boosts your physical and mental energy levels?
Yesterday I caught up with a high school classmate who is now a very experienced and wise business person.
(I’ll ask his permission before I reveal any more about his identity.)
Anyway, we are chatting away and he drops the F word.
He says he’s at the stage of his career where he wants to make sure he injects fun into his work.
Sure, he works hard on serious stuff – but he insists on more fun.
He urges his friends to factor in a bit of fun into their busy work schedules and to break up their routine.
An Iggy Pop song blasts in my head with tweaked lyrics – More Fun for me – More fun!
We spoke about successful people we knew and admired who seemed to also succeed in adding fun to their work.
Like the CEO I am helping – who has an office full of model cars (including the 1966 Batmobile – signed by the car “creator”) – plus autographed photos of NASA astronauts he’d met. His office is full of fun stuff.
We spoke about how in Western business – FUN is often seen as a bad word – getting in the way of work. The enemy of work.
Whereas we both thought FUN could enhance work by re-energising you.
I came away from our catch-up re-energized and with a head buzzing with ideas.
When I later tried to analyse why – I think it was due to all the laughing and talking about silly “boy” stuff like cars and Chiko rolls and deliberately scheduling FUN.
For example, I have another friend (from law school).
This year we have made a pact to do something each two weeks during a work day that is fun – like catching up to see a visiting exhibition on California Design or catching up with musician friends at The German Club for German Beer and Schnitzel.
We keep each other to our deal – every two weeks. We alternate the choice of re-energising activity.
This was at the California Design exhibit. Our visit was like the museum scene montage in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – except with older guys taking a few hours off! And no leopard skin vests!
Now some may say – “I already do that – I occasionally go to a golf day.”
What I’m talking about is regular and deliberate fun – during a work week.
Different people will have different definitions of fun.
From my experience, Western business people often feel guilty about having any fun.
In many professions it’s seen as irresponsible and “soft” and a lack of commitment.
Sure, you may have to make up the time – but I urge you to try it – deliberately and unapologetically seeking fun.
See how it can clear your head and inspire better ideas than you’d get sitting in your office.
See how it re-energises and refreshes you for when you go back to the office!
Try a search and enjoy mission.
Maybe you have to be at a certain stage of your career or have a job with flexibility to do this.
Maybe my friends and I are just lucky we can work hard at times and then vigorously do things we enjoy and just enjoy small talk about “silly things”!
Please let me know what you think – in the comments section below.
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These days, lots of people and organisations need help with how to COPE with too much work, too much information, too many meetings, delivering difficult news etc. I like to help people COPE.