How to Put Feeling Into Your Work, Part 1 of 2

Dave coaches basketball. He's what you might call a "gym rat", always heading out to watch a new player or simply to enjoy a game. If I were to even mention football or baseball, he would provide a strange look, with furled eyebrows as if so say, "Is there any sport besides basketball?"

I overheard a recent conversation between Dave and another coach. Dave was talking about how he had only met his new team and then had just eight days to gel them into a team before their first game. He said, "I hardly had enough time to put feeling into the season!"

Feeling- a word that often gets a bad name. The thinkers of the world consider feelings a bad word. People with feeling are too often cast as "overly sensitive" or wimpy. Not for Dave. For him, feeling is part of getting a job done.

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.  Teddy Roosevelt

This topic came up again when a young person that I mentor was describing his struggle to hand in assignments on time. We talked about how he felt about the assignments and the impact that his own feelings had towards the final output.

I think that you can do two things related to feeling when it comes to work:

a) add feeling to your work and

b) dial in to your own feelings about it.

In this post, let's discuss how we can add feeling to our everyday work:

1. Invest in better tools. If work is something that you dread, consider the tools you're using. For example, let's say that I am in sales and drive a lot to my appointments. If my vehicle is a crummy, beat up car, my days are spent without really enjoying the ride. This same concept applies to your computer, your desk, your notebooks, and even your cell phone. Look around- is there a tool that you currently put up with that can use a refresh or improvement?

2. Work slower. While this may sound counterintuitive, it's really good advice. If you're dreading your job, it might be a result of a hectic pace that is unrelenting and frenetic. Your work still needs to get done but you can be smart about what you're accomplishing during the day. Take a break, listen more carefully to those with whom you speak and be more thoughtful in the emails that you send.

3. Write more often.  It's cool to think about your work but when you write about it (I like One Day for iOS), your reflection is deeper and the words process your feelings more acutely.  Seriously, write about how work is going- it will make a difference.

In Part 2 I'll discuss a final aspect to putting more feeling into your daily work.