This week, in the context of a group event where we discussed how we show up in our work, someone in the group asked:
How do you find enjoyment in the work if it isn’t fun?
Separately, this week I had a conversation with a friend who shared that the question he is asking himself these days is:
How can I do work that is fun, innovative, and creative?
Cue Cyndi Lauper: it seems like everyone just wants to have fun.
Seeking out work that is fun, like my friend is doing, is one way to get there.
But what if, instead of seeking work that is fun, we find the fun in our work? It’s a subtle shift that takes us out of striving and working hard to seek out something and let’s us realize that what we desire already exists.
3 Tips to Make Your Work Fun
Here are three tips you can take to find the fun in your work.
(1) Ask a Different Question
The first tip is to ask a different question.
Instead of asking “what work is fun?” we can ask questions that put us in control of the fun. Some examples:
How can I bring fun to my work?
How can I make my work fun?
What parts of my work are fun?
(2) Define Fun
The second tip is to define “fun.”
How will you know if your work is fun if you haven’t defined what that means? And I’m not talking about the dictionary here.
Define what “fun” means for you.
Don’t assume that you know what you consider fun. As Samuel Butler noted, we often neglect this inquiry:
There is no greater sign of a fool than the thinking that he can tell at once and easily what it is that pleases him. To know this is not easy, and how to extend our knowledge of it is the highest and most neglected of all arts and branches of education.
Make time to explore:
What is fun for you?
How do you have fun?
One reason we may neglect the investigation of what is fun for us is that we believe it takes away from our work. If you start to journey on that guilt-trip or hear the voice telling you that you don’t have time to waste on fun, remind yourself that this is a work project.
(3) Choose To Have Fun
The third tip is to choose to show up in a way that makes your work fun.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t work hard.
Hard work can be fun, and fun can be hard work. The determining factor is how you choose to show up.
As The Cat in the Hat (penned by Dr. Seuss) said,
It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how.
Once you know how, then you can show up and have fun, no matter what you’re doing.