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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- And on October 12: Downscoping Under Pressure: II
- We sometimes "downscope" projects to bring them back on budget and schedule when they're headed for overruns. Downscoping doesn't always work. Cognitive biases like the sunk cost effect and confirmation bias can distort decisions about how to downscope. Available here and by RSS on October 12.
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