If you agree with the above quote, then logic would follow that work (a part of life) is too important to be taken seriously as well. Incorporating more fun and playfulness into my days and sharing it with my posse of friends/family/readers/followers/customers/etc. has become increasingly important to me, but I continue to stall out on the follow through. Which got me thinking about Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (a-mazing, by the way; it’s more than a business/leadership book, it’s a ‘be a more awesome person’ book!) Simon believes starting with WHY we do what we do, inspires us and others to action, as well as helps drive the HOW and WHAT of what we do. Realizing that I was approaching this problem from the typical WHAT or HOW approach that many of us operate from, I decided to take it back to WHY and move forward from there.
Why you should add more fun to your work day will be different for everyone. Besides the obvious, “Why wouldn’t you like to have more fun?”, there are a variety of benefits to adding more fun to your work day, such as:
- Tension release for yourself, your co-workers/employees/customers/clients.
- Unblocking and creating flow in your creativity
- Creating engagement- within your network or workplace, with your customers, and within your own work for better quality and productivity.
- Humor and playfulness make you approachable and attractive to others!
- Coping mechanism/counter-balance for dealing more effectively with the un-fun parts of work/business.
Only you can decide your why. For it be effective, you should find a WHY that not only aligns with the overall WHY your business exists (its purpose/belief/cause), but also one that is compelling enough for you to be inspired to act on it.
Once you’ve determined your WHY, then you can determine your HOW. This is your WHERE and WHEN you will incorporate the fun. Different social media outlets seem to serve different purposes and create engagement with different people in your business life. For example, my blog & Facebook are where I connect with readers/customers more often, while Twitter tends to be more of a networking/water cooler site for me.
Possible WHEREs: Facebook, Twitter, blog posts, newsletters, emails, customer orders
Possible WHENs: Maybe it’s a daily bit you share on your Facebook page, a weekly blog post of fun stuff to share, a monthly feature in your newsletter, fun note cards you send with customer orders, a “start your morning with a smile email” to co-workers/employees, or end of work day tweet with a link to a funny video. Please note, the purpose of all this isn’t to forsake actual work in search of YouTube videos of cats all day long…remember your WHY- engagement, stress relief, productivity and creativity enhancing…
Again, this will be unique to your specific business or client base. Possible bits of fun to share:
- SEEN/READ/HEARD: This could be quotes or lines from movies, TV, literature, music, history, philosophy, etc. I’m forever hearing song lyrics while driving that either crack me up, sum up a particular day, or reflect my feelings on a topic. The TV quotes that catch my attention probably say a lot about my viewing habits (for better or worse!) I love going to quote sites like thinkexist.com when I’m in a particular mood. Sharing funny little snippets can create smiles, as well as give others some insight to who you are and what makes you tick.
- Links to others’ blog posts: The Bloggess is one of my favorite, funny bloggers. With a tagline of “Like Mother Teresa, Only Better”, she admittedly isn’t for everyone, but she is for me and customers/readers I’m interested in attracting and connecting with. Again, sharing posts from people who make you laugh or brighten your day can shows others your personality.
- Videos: We love our videos, and YouTube has something for everyone. Find videos or channels that reflects your ideal customers’ interests or a video to share with co-workers/colleagues that portrays the funnier aspects of your field.
- Personal Bits: No, I don’t mean you have to share deeply personal or humiliating stories. Unless your okay with a bit of self-deprecating humor, like when I completely smashed face first into the sliding glass door of my studio a few weeks ago and almost knocked myself senseless. Once I recovered and determined that I didn’t have a concussion, I shared the story on Facebook and Twitter. Why? Because I saw the humor in it and knew others would as well. Most likely because they’ve either done it or know someone who did!
- Photos: It could be silliness at work that you share with your customers, or something engaging like collecting photos of customers posing with your products. Zappos has contests where customers submit photos of themselves with their shoes. Jessica Swift is collecting photos of customers who’ve bought her fun rain boots.
- Time Wasters: We love wasting time, whether we admit it or not…how do you think Angry Birds and Pinterest got so freaking popular?! Jessica Jones of How About Orange always finds great time wasters to share with blog readers, many of which are related to the graphic design. So technically they could almost be considered continuing education…
SO…ready to add more fun to your days? To help you along, I’ve created a “WHY -> HOW-> WHAT” printable that you can download, print, fill out and post as a reminder for yourself to BE THE FUN YOU WISH TO SEE!