Why do you need to. have fun to be successful?
The phrase “work hard, play harder” is familiar to us; but the “work hard” part is where we get stuck most of the time. We focus so much at doing well in our jobs or careers that we often forget to have fun. When we do allow ourselves to have some fun; it is usually to celebrate a major accomplishment in our lives, usually a milestone at work.
We think that having time for fun is a reward for working hard but the two can never come together. However, successful people tend to disagree. For them, work should be fun; the work should be the reward itself.
Fun is one of the most important — and underrated — ingredients in any successful venture… If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else.— Richard Branson, The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership
Apparently, work and play can be experienced at the same time. We don’t need to focus on just one; because rewarding work should be fun to do and having fun at work is rewarding.
I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.— Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder
There are many successful people who think it is important to have fun at work. Here are some reasons why:
A fun, work environment, encourages people to try out different ways to do things, so they can get their tasks done more efficiently and on time.
A fun environment also provides space for constructive criticism for failures instead of imposing strong penalties. Good effort, when rewarded positively, encourages individuals to become more open to trying out new things to become better at what they do. You won’t need to force yourself to stick to the usual methods even when it doesn’t suit your style.
Sustain Interest and Focus
Do you remember how time goes by so fast when you are engaged in your favorite hobby? How did 2-3 hours of dancing and shouting at a concert pass by? Also, you were on your feet the whole time, but you didn’t really feel tired at all.
With fun activities, we are able to sustain our interest and focus in the activity for long periods of time. We do not notice how much time and effort we are spending during the activity. We only become aware when the activity ends, or when our body tells us that we need to rest.
Produce Better Results
When you are having fun doing something; excitement comes with your efforts. You become more patient and put in more effort to see things through to the end.
This is especially true when a team is working together. A fun work environment encourages each member to give their best suggestion to solve a problem. They do not feel pressured to get things done perfectly. Whatever the challenge, they eventually get things done if they are having fun. They also produce even better results; with the same amount of effort or even less, and also with little to no stress.
Encourage Good Relationships
Having fun together also helps build deeper and stronger relationships. This is why team building trips and events have become an important part of many company calendars.
Recall the last time you attended a fun, company party. Didn’t you feel refreshed and more excited to go to work the next day? When the whole team comes into work in such a positive mood; didn’t the work day seem less stressful and the work hours shorter?
You will notice that you not only completed your work for the day, but you may have done more than you usually do. Your team mates may have done the same. It’s the feeling of camaraderie, the sharing together in a fun experience, that contributed greatly to the positive environment that helped everyone’s productivity.
Better Communication, Less Conflict
An open mind is a welcome trait in resolving issues. A fun, work environment encourages and fosters such a trait. Open minded people don’t shy away from discussing issues with colleagues than they would in a strict, office setup.
When playing, everyone follows the rules of the game; but if one fails to follow the rule, the reaction is usually one of laughter and not a strong reprimand.
When people can air out their concerns by telling jokes; less stress accumulates in the work place. In this environment, they are not pressured to prove that they are right and the other person is wrong. Open communication becomes a norm and stressful conflicts are less likely to occur.
Having fun at work is an important ingredient in your success. It makes your work life a more rewarding experience. Don’t wait to finish work to have fun. Start thinking up ways to make your work more fun.
With this kind of attitude, your team mates and clients will surely notice the positive change in you. You might even be able to influence your whole team’s mindset and build stronger relationships with your clients in the process. This is one good step towards success.
Feature Image: Original Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash