Finding harmony in your work

If you’re trying to create harmony in the work you do, it’s important to look at the platform you’re working on. When you have personal fundamentals in place, your platform is solid. If you’re missing a few fundamentals, your platform may feel tippy and stressful.

Everyone’s fundamentals are different. And your fundamentals may vary depending on the type of work you’re doing.

Organizational Exercise
Grab a piece of paper and divide it into four columns. The first column is how you think of yourself in general. The second column is for any paid work you do. The third is for volunteer work. And the last is for any fun work you do.

For each column, decide how important each fundamental listed below is to you – very important, somewhat important, or not important. No one is grading; this is just between you and the piece of paper. And if you want to add fundamentals, please do!

  • Finances – Is money a motivator for you? Or a detractor?
  • Connections – How important is it that you connect with the people you work with?
  • Independence – Do you like working alone? On a team? Or a mix of both?
  • Creativity – Is it important to you to have a platform that allows for creative thinking?  Or are you more comfortable having someone else create so you can keep your focus on getting things done?
  • Organization – Do you like working in an atmosphere that’s buttoned up? Or do you like things a little looser?
  • Heart-to-heart – How important is it for you to do work that comes right from your heart?
  • On-going education – How important is it to you to have an ongoing flow of new ideas in your work?
  • Energy – Do you consider yourself a low, middle, or high energy person? And what energy do you like being around when you work?
  • Atmosphere – Are you comfortable in an aggressive atmosphere? Or do you prefer to work on projects and/or with people and goals that are softer?
  • Responsibility – How much responsibility do you like? Do you prefer being the Captain, First Mate, or a sailor?
  • Flexible hours – Do you like a set schedule? Or do you like more flexibility when you work?
  • Timing – Do you like working on short-run projects that you dive into, work on, and wrap up? Or is a long-term project more appealing?
  • Volume – Do you like to work on multiple projects at one time? Or is focusing on one project at a time better for you?
  • Recognition – Do you like working behind the scenes? Or is being in the limelight a bigger thrill?

What was interesting to me in thinking through this exercise was that I would answer “in general” quite differently than I do when I consider the different types of work I do.

For instance, I would tell you that finances are not a big motivator for me. But when I think about the paid work I do, I want to be paid well. My volunteer work is obviously not done for pay and I love that. And my fun work is a mix. In general, finances are more important to me than I thought they were!

When I look at connections, I would tell you that connecting and networking are very, very important – except when I do my fun work. Then, my focus is much more on the creative process than it is on connections or networking.

And I was surprised to see only one fundamental, independence, that I rated the same across all categories. For me, independence is “very important” no matter what I’m doing.

Thinking about your fundamentals is helpful on several levels.

  1. It’s important to think about and understand what motivates you.
  2. It’s interesting to think how different you are depending on what you’re doing.
  3. If you feel out of sync or “tippy” with any of the work you do, a chart like this can help you zero in on how to fix it. Or it can help you decide if you need to change the work you’re doing.

This also helps if you’re considering a new job, new volunteer work, or a new project. Once you start down a path, you don’t always have control over the fundamentals. So why not choose work at the onset that is harmonious with your complex self? 🙂

Sending you harmonious rock vibes from the beaches of Maine.

Want to see other posts on this blog? There’s a small link below to the most recent post. Or check out the column on the right to see what other folks are reading. Try the “search” box at the top right if you’re looking for something in particular. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions for future posts! Happy organizing!







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