How often do you celebrate? Chances are, not often enough. Most of us can remember to celebrate holidays (most of the time, anyway), personal events (birthdays, wedding anniversaries, divorces), and major career achievements (promotions, retirements, and the occasional layoff). But there are many more events to celebrate, and when we take time to mark them with the reverence they deserve, life is a lot more fun. Here are a few suggestions for celebrations that can lighten your workday.
- Declare Thursday "Flower Day"
- Buy (or pick) yourself some flowers. Get fancy if you want to. If you're having difficulty with this idea you're probably struggling with the image of carrying the flowers into the building from the parking lot in the morning. Not to worry, you can have them delivered. Maybe even ask the flower people to include a note: "With Love, George." Remember to sign your own actual name.
- Leave work a half hour early
- If you can't adjust your hours, this one won't work for you. But even if you do have that freedom, you still face some serious challenges, because there are millions of excuses available. Fortunately, every excuse has a workaround. If you have too much work to do, pick a day when you don't, or take some work home, or shorten your lunch, or start a half-hour earlier. If you have to pick up the kids, that's no problem — just make sure you arrive wherever they are on time. The extra half-hour is still yours. Be creative.
- Celebrate personal successes
- You just headed off a major confrontation, by pulling the right people together for some creative problem solving, and it worked. Even though others might not feel the need to make a formal celebration and hand you a plaque, you can do it yourself. It can be just you, or you can invite a few buddies. Probably you don't want to do the plaque thing though.
- Celebrate the big little things
- We're so used to celebrating only the events that touch others, we can have difficulty celebrating the events that touch only ourselves. Like making it through the past seven days reasonably happy, or without missing a meeting. Or without assaulting that guy who unnecessarily dragged out yesterday's staff meeting by a half-hour. Appreciate yourself not only for the good things you do, but also for the bad things you don't.
Science has determined that a normal human being's needs for celebrations averages 2.718 celebrations per week (not really!). Got yours yet this week? As for me, I'm celebrating finishing this essay! See you at the coffee bar at 4:30. Top Next Issue
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More articles on Emotions at Work:
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do. Confusing the two is a dangerous error.
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- When Somebody Throws a Nutty
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- Directed Attention Fatigue
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See also Emotions at Work for more related articles.
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On 14 December 1911, four men led by Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole. Thirty-five days later, Robert F. Scott and four others followed. Amundsen had won the race to the pole. Amundsen's party returned to base on 26 January 1912. Scott's party perished. As historical drama, why this happened is interesting enough. But to organizational leaders, business analysts, project sponsors, and project managers, the story is fascinating. We'll use the history of this event to explore lessons in leadership and its application to organizational efforts. A fascinating and refreshing look at leadership from the vantage point of history. Read more about this program.
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Many people who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.
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