10 ways to "not work".
"Not working" doesn't mean you're not employed. Instead, it means that you know and embrace your strengths and fully enjoy every day... by being yourself. Imagine how it feels to not just live for the weekends? It is possible for you to do and here's ten ways you can make every part of your day (even 9-5) feel like you're "not working" at all:
Do what you love.
Time flies when you're having fun. So if you enjoy what you're doing every day, then it shouldn't feel like work. Too often we get caught up in the notion that work is something we do in order to get paid. That's not true. Don't suffer at work in order to make your life outside of work more comfortable. Instead, commit to finding work that you love and every part of the day will be enjoyable.
Good at something? Then stop doing it.
Chances are if you're good at something, it comes naturally to you. But that doesn't you should do it. Too often we get stuck doing something "just because we can do it". If something is easy for you to do, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's enjoyable for you. So take careful stock of the jobs you often get stuck doing "just because you can do it" and strike those jobs off your list of things you are willing to do, especially if you don't enjoy it. Be honest with the people around you and explain to them that you don't enjoy it (despite how good you are at it) and offer to do something else you enjoy.
Give yourself permission to be YOU.
You are not defined by what others think of you: you are defined by what you think of yourself. As Dr. Suess says, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Isn't it true? Let go of trying to put yourself into a category. Be your own category and don't be afraid to tell the world who you are.
Tell people what to expect from you.
There's already too much guessing in life. Chances are you're reading this article because you want some direction in your life. Well, guess what? You can GIVE direction too! By knowing what your strengths are, you have the ability to inform people more often and more accurately about what to expect from you. The more they know about your strengths, the more they'll understand how you can help them.
Give yourself enough rope.
Have you ever heard the expression, "Give me enough rope to hang myself"? Well, the expression doesn't mean that you're actually going to hang yourself: it means that you know exactly what you're capable of and people should trust that you know what you're doing. If you feel like you're completely capable of doing something then give yourself permission to just "go for it" regardless of what the result might be OR what everybody else might think. There's a great chance that you'll deliver your best work ever but it all has to begin with trusting yourself.
Okay, you already know what your strengths are right? (If you don't know your strengths then buy a copy of StrenghtsFinder 2.0 here) Well, if you do know your strengths, then guess what? You also know what your weaknesses are too!
Nobody is good at everything. So we have to stop trying to do it all and start looking to others as "strength partners." Finding a great strength partner is like finding a million dollar lottery ticket on the street. Strength partners are few and far between but every once in a while it happens. A strength partner is someone who compliments what you do by filling in your weaknesses and vice versa.
You need three ingredients for a strength partner:
- You have to trust each other 100%
- You have to share the rewards
- You have to selflessly and constantly contribute to a win/win/win
Do less work but get more done.
Society often tells us that being busy is a sign of success. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's not true. Having quality projects that you can focus on is far more effective than have a bunch of low quality projects that take up more of your time. Take stock of the things you're doing everyday and choose the most important quality project you have. Concentrate on just that with your strength partner. You'll get more done in less time and you'll have more time to choose what should be next on your list.
Stop trying to be so perfect! All great progress comes though trial and error. We learn best from our mistakes so we shouldn't be afraid to make some. I love making mistakes! In fact, early in my life I found out that making mistakes is something I NEEDED to do. By throwing caution to the wind and allowing myself to make mistakes I found that my need for acceptance from others disappeared. My reward was that I got to be ME regardless of whether I hit a home run or not. I became known for always showing up and fearlessly making every effort to hit the ball out of the park.
Lunch every day.
Lunch is great. It's one of my three favorite meals of the day!
I think of lunch like mini vacation on the beach at Waikiki. But remember, "not working" comes through enjoying yourself. Stop treating lunch as a "nutrition break" and start treating it like a half-time reward for a successful day. Eat what you love but eat for success. Loading up on five pieces of KFC at lunchtime isn't going to contribute to your health OR to "not working" but maybe one piece can be your high five for the day. Eat what you love. Stop when you're full. Surround yourself with your favorite people or things at lunch.
You and your boss have to commit to "not working" everyday.
I saved the best for last... you see, "not working" requires a commitment! And that commitment has to come from BOTH you and your boss.
Strengths are something we are born with. We can't turn them on and off. They are always on.
Most people believe that work is something we do for businesses in exchange for money. It's time to change that context. Businesses (bosses) have to start recognizing that we are not living in 1930 anymore. People don't simply work to earn money. Job satisfaction is one of the most important aspects of our lives. So why is it then that job satisfaction is the lowest it's been in over 20 years?
If we are going to continue to go to a job every day, we're going to need more than just a paycheck. We need to feel appreciated, needed and engaged in what we do. Businesses, on the other hand, need productive staff that can accomplish goals and contribute to a hugely successful bottom line (profit). The problem with these two scenarios is that "getting a job" is a human decision and "hiring people for a job" is a business decision.
What we need is a bridge. Think of this bridge as a two way communication. Businesses must start using strengths as a foundation of their operations. According to Tom Rath, author of StrengthsFinder 2.0, there's only a 1% chance of you being disengaged with your job if your boss focuses on your strengths. ONE PERCENT!! But if your boss focuses on your weaknesses, there's a 22% chance of being disengaged. Worse yet, there's a 40% chance of disengagement if your boss ignores you completely.
But if you really want job satisfaction, you have a job too: you have to know what your strengths are and actively commit to them every day. It's not enough for you to know what your strengths are and keep it to yourself. You must know your strengths, commit to your strengths AND share (tell) your strengths to others often. If your boss knows what your strengths are and she is committed to her own strengths in return, just think of what can be accomplished each and every day... while the whole office isn't working?