Is this possible ? Is it necessary? Are people more productive if they enjoy where they work and who they work with? Or should work simply be seen as a means to an end, a way of servicing your life outside of work? A work to live scenario and not live to work. And, at the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with that.
I write this due to an article I just read on LinkedIn looking at scales of happiness linked to productivity. I have always tried to ensure that the staff working in my department get along with each other, have fun doing what they are doing and enjoy coming to work everyday as this means they are more likely to go ‘above and beyond’ what they might expeçt to do, for the good of the department and the kids we work with.
I have always enjoyed my work, primarily because I enjoy teaching kids how to play sports. Despite being in this occupation for twenty years now, my enthusiasm has never diminished. I have been fortunate to work with some great colleagues, many of whom will remain friends forever and one of the best things about my job, aside from seeing kids progress, has been working with people who not only share the same enthusiasm for the job as I do but also share the same sense of humour and sense of fun that I have. After all, if work is fun then it doesn’t seem like work!!
Lately however, due to various things, I have found my enthusiasm dimming, to the point where I am starting to view work, and therefore, life differently. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, it’s the best job in the World, but i ask myself is it worth all the hours it demands, the stress it brings dealing with all the unnecessary s*** that causes you from time time to fall out of love with it. But is it so wrong to think this way, to look for different things to do, to spend time studying Italian in the evenings, to plan our next trip away, to watch TV, which I have never really done, and switch off completely instead of checking emails and doing things I could quite easily put off until tomorrow.
Is it so bad to question your own commitment to work or is this necessary to preserve your sanity, avoid depression and allow yourself a life outside of what you have been used to for so long. After all, plenty of people seem to operate within this parameter anyway so it’s not as if I would be alone in doing this.
In a way I feel ashamed of talking about this because, as I said at the start, i have always enjoyed my work, still do, but it feels wrong in some way to be questioning my own dedication. Maybe it’s a sign that it’s time for something else as I’ve given over half of my life to this profession. Or maybe it’s a good sign, an indication that I need to leave time for myself and my family and our interests and enjoy and make the most of life….
As my namesake Ellis Boy ‘Red’ Redding said “Get busy living or get busy dying”