Pick the Right Place for Each Task

Peak employee effectiveness and wellbeing depends on finding the optimal balance between working alone and working with others. Microsoft does big studies of their many thousand employees. They found that disengaged employees complained about too little collaboration. Overworked employees complained about too much collaboration.

Now that both office and home are valid work locations, it is a leadership responsibility to make the most of each of them. Collaboration needs to be in the office. We survived two years of Zoom meetings, but at the cost of massive Zoom fatigue. Focused work should happen at home where the employee is in full control of their time. Leaders need to set the rules and clearly delineate what happens where.

Choose Your Soundtrack

Movies manipulate your feelings. You can borrow the techniques of the movie industry to change how you feel. One of their tricks is the soundtrack. You just know that something scary is waiting behind that door – the music tells you.

Think about the soundtrack you want for your life. You might create several playlists for different moods. You can have one for starting work, one for winding down after your workday, one for getting ready for bed, and an extra energetic one for doing boring work around the house.

Your rational mind cannot directly affect your feelings. It doesn’t work to simply tell yourself to cheer up. But your rational self can select the right tunes and let the music do the magic.

Use Your Money Well

Money doesn’t buy happiness. Yet there are some ways to spend money that makes you happier than others. Research shows that the happiness from buying things wears off very quickly. You know it will take less than six months for the shiny new device your purchase today to be replaced with a new and better one.

But the happiness you get from buying experiences lasts longer. Many of your memories will last a lifetime. Maybe you don’t need a new phone right now? Save a little on things today and spend a little more on your holiday this summer. It will make your happier in the long run.

Winter is Over. Get Outside

The calendar tells us winter is over. If you have been hibernating, now is the time to get out of your cave.

Fresh air, daylight, and exercise are crucial elements of your physical and mental well-being. You have to get outside. No matter how fast you pedal on your Peloton bike, it is not enough. Your body needs to see daylight and breath fresh air. Make an appointment with yourself on your calendar to take a walk outside tomorrow.

Compliment Someone

Did you compliment anyone today? I’m not talking about your colleagues’ looks – don’t enter that minefield. But remember to appreciate your co-workers and team members when they do good work.

Complimenting other people is an under-utilized superpower. It costs nothing and makes both you and the receiver feel better. Today is #WorldComplimentDay. Be part of the movement 😉

Why are You Working?

Are you one of the oppressed workers of the world? Even if you were not out waving red banners and calling for the workers of the world to unite, you can still use May Day to reflect on your job.

There are only so many minutes left in your life, and you are spending many of them on your job. Some people are fortunate to have a job that makes them happy. I’ve loved my work as a programmer, IT architect and now as as consultant and mentor. I have colleagues who are not as passionate about IT, but who use the money they make as fuel for their life outside work. Flying small planes is an expensive hobby, and needs a solid income.

You can choose either path. But if you’re not in your job for fun or for money, what are you doing there?