I was asked the other day by my manager, ” What do you do for fun?” He could have asked me the current status of any project, health of the projects at the plant post completion, well just about anything – and I could have answered. Yet, with this one, I was dumbfounded. I had to think about this… in fact, I have been since April 12th. The result – I am cycling through a self reset, if you will. It brought me back to the very modern *new age* thinking that Google, and many other companies are following – allowing creativity, productive freedoms and performance based on desire. Real desire. Not the resume building checklist for the next promotion or career move – but one that is all engaging. I touched on this a little over a year ago, with a short entry called “creative hour.”
People have preferences. I am a nerd, and would love to work on an excel database, macro (vba) solution taking data dumps and making it work for the user. I love creating solutions that would take hours, simplifying to a few clicks of the mouse. Though, that is not always a need. Yet, there is a time and place. I could spend hours… (I mean that… hours)… I have things that I would rate as enjoyable.
The conversation did have a lasting impact with me. I have changed my thinking around my priority list. There are the tasks that I have to do. The business needs that must be met as a requirement of the position that I hold. That is not to say that it is not at all enjoyable. In fact, most of it is still enjoyable. As a result, I have started leaving a little creative freedom in my schedule. When I complete the tasks that I needed to for the week – I take the XYZ topic that I wanted to work on – and spend some time dabbling with it. All is still for the business – all still has a potential for success, but would normally have fallen lower on the list if you based it on a typical 2×2 or priority matrix.
Bottom line is allow some room for the employee to put their soul into their work. Everyone has something that they truly enjoy. Do you know what that is? Ask.