copyright Birgerking: Weapons of Mass distraction Flickr Creative Commons

copyright Birgerking: Weapons of Mass distraction Flickr Creative Commons

Enjoyment is a critical element of success.  It is a reflection that we are doing the right thing with our time, strengths and interests. The research shows that people who enjoy 75% or more of their work are 4 times more likely to be successful at it.

Enjoyment is also woefully misunderstood – especially in the context of work.

I make a distinction between enjoyment and fun.  Fun at work can mean any kind of activity that changes our mood for the better.  Office lunches, team bowling parties, ping pong tables in the office and slides in the foyer all fall into the category of fun.  Fun things make work light and interesting. Fun things may stimulate us to better relations.  Fun things can be a great distraction.

The problem is that we may have a deeper problem if we need a lot of distractions.

When I teach people about enjoyment at work I often go to the definition of “flow” by Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

In an awesome book on the subject he describes flow as a state where people enjoy things to such an extent that time can stand still and a person can continue to do an activity for the sheer joy of doing it.

People that enjoy what they do don’t need many distractions.  The work itself is the enjoyment.  The work itself is the reward.  Fun has a place, but enjoyment is deeper.  Enjoyment is a better foundation on which to build a successful career, business or team.

Many factors influence enjoyment at work.  With my clients I often see four factors in play: work preferences, work motivators, work culture and purpose.  I will go into detail on each of these factors in posts to follow.