Andrea Novakowski's Coaching Tip of the Week
Andrea Novakowski's Coaching Tip of the Week )
  July 30, 2004 
Contents In This Issue
    If It Feels Like Work, You're Doing It Wrong!
    by Gary Lockwood

  • Brought to you by Andrea Novakowski, Master Certified Coach, Business and Personal Coaching for Corporations, Businesses and Individuals


    "To love what you do and feel that it matters -- how could anything be more fun?"

    -- Katharine Graham

    If It Feels Like Work, You're Doing It Wrong!
    by Gary Lockwood

    Where does it say that you can have fun only when you're away from work? What rule dictates that your business is where you must "be serious"? Come on; lighten up a bit. Far too many people spend five days of their week just waiting for the weekend where they can have a good time and relax.

    Much of this goes back to the Industrial Age economic model. In this Industrial Age model, jobs were broken down into smaller and smaller tasks that could be repeated again and again for maximum productivity. The assembly line, right? As it turns out, it wasn't just the assembly line jobs that were treated this way. Salespeople, accountants, managers and others in the organization were subjected to the same job design.

    As a result, for the past 150 years, we have been taught that time on the job must be non-stop hard work in order to be most productive. Many of us learned this from our parents and early bosses. We heard messages such as "Work really hard and you will be rewarded." Or, "You're here to work, not play around. Get busy."

    No wonder so many people started to look toward their time away from work as a respite from hard labor and grim pressure. Days off and weekends began to be treasured as time to enjoy ourselves, relax and have a little fun. Trouble is, many people now feel they have to take fewer days off to stay caught up with increasing work demands. Working weekends has become standard practice for many over-worked business professionals.

    Business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals are even worse at this. This group works an average of 12 hours per week more than the average employee.

    So where do we have room to have fun? How do we have the time to enjoy the work? Let's examine this from a couple of different angles.

    First, let's step back a few paces and take a bird's eye view of your business or job. Are you really doing something that you enjoy? Does your job or your enterprise give you satisfaction? Are you fully using your natural talents and aptitude?

    How do you discover your natural talents? First, write down a list of those things that you do that seem easy for you. These are the things that you can do that seem almost effortless. Often, the tasks that are easy for us are those where we have a special aptitude.

    Next, make a list of those things you do where time just seems to fly by. When you are doing these activities, you may look up and realize that several hours have passed without you even realizing it. This is a good clue to activities where you have natural talent.

    Then, write all the activities that make you happy. These are things that make you smile. These are the tasks you would do just for yourself, with no promise of gain, just because they're fun, interesting and fulfilling.

    Look through the three lists to find the common activities. These are likely to be the areas of your natural aptitude and talent. These are the areas of greatest potential for you. Imagine if you could spend most of your time developing and playing at something that makes you happy, where time flies and where it's easy for you. Wow!

    Now, let's take a look at your enterprise or job from a different perspective. What can you do to make your time at work more enjoyable? Here are a few ideas to try.

    One of the ways to make work more fun is contests. You could be the only contestant or you may include a few others. The object of the contest is to strive for a small, obtainable goal each day, then get a prize for achieving it. Examples: Book three sales appointments today and you win a half-hour in the park. Find two new ways to reduce expenses and you win your favorite dinner. Follow up with five customers and win a "no working" Saturday.

    You get the idea. Just set a few interesting targets that, just by pursuing them, make your business better. Couple that with some simple rewards for yourself that make the game fun. Go on. Have a little fun.

    Another idea is to acknowledge and encourage laughter. In many offices, the absence of laughter is like a wet blanket over the team. You can even get your clients in the act. Look for opportunities for a little chuckle when you're talking with your clients. They appreciate happiness, too. They'll start to realize that you're a real person, just like themselves.

    Being in the right job or business, and having a good time while you're there will lead to increased productivity, more satisfaction and less stress.

    Measuring your success in this endeavor is easy. If it feels like work, you're doing it wrong.

    Gary Lockwood is increasing the Effectiveness and Enhancing the Lives of CEOS, business owners and professionals. Get his free CEO Success newsletter at


    One of my clients offers team building workshops to companies and she is always looking for ways to inject humor into her presentation. Many times she says her clients come into the room so serious. She understands that people today need laughter.

    My request for you this week is to look at opportunities to bring laughter and smiles to your work. Have fun. Share the lighter side of you. Have a good time!


    August 12, 2004
    Pounce on a Project V

    Encore, encore! You asked for it, you've got it! Come to "Pounce on a Project V." Here's what participants are saying:

    "Pounce on a Project had me tackling my project head on. Completing it felt so good! Once I started, the angst disappeared."
    -- K.J.

    "I'm no longer putting off what I love to do!"
    -- Business Owner, TX

    "I had to get all of my marketing material organized and sent to my advisor. Where was I going to find the time? Pounce on a Project gave me 4 hours of uninterrupted time to easily complete my plan!"
    -- Business Owner, MA

    "Pounce on Project enabled me to fulfill a long time goal of mine, while energizing me to undertake other projects that I had been putting off."
    -- Lisa W.

    "The simple structure of commitment and accountability had me easily complete my project."
    - - Business owner, England

    "I learned I can use this time to accomplish many small projects I've been putting off. Hooray!"
    -- Freelance writer, Boston MA

    Did you know that incompletions and clutter can drain your energy? As we are half way through the summer season, are there projects or spaces you need to "clean up" to fully move into this next season? In preparation for our next get together, consider the following:

    ** What do I need to let go?
    ** How can I simplify?
    ** What needs to be done to get better organized?
    ** What needs to be stored for future use?

    Join Andrea on Thursday, August 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern. We will join as a group by phone and declare what you want to accomplish: organizing your office, simplifying your filing system, cleaning under your bed, finishing your website, planning your pricing strategy for your new products.

    During the morning, the group will gather by phone a few times to check progress and get any support needed to finish with a bang. At noon, the group will celebrate their accomplishments. Who says projects have to be boring and tedious? Bring your lightness and fun and join us for energization.

    To sign up or learn more, call or e-mail Andrea by noon on August 11, 2004. Space is limited. First come, first served. Feel free to share this with friends and coworkers. (Cost of the program is only the cost of long distance phone calls.)


    This Coaching Tip of the Week is brought to you by Andrea Novakowski, Master Certified Coach who provides Business and Personal Coaching to Corporations, Businesses, and Individuals. Andrea is a professional coach who partners with people to set goals and create momentum to produce effective results in their business and/or personal lives.

    Andrea is available for individual coaching. If you are serious about reaching your goals and living with greater fulfillment and satisfaction, consider using a coach. To schedule a COMPLIMENTARY initial consultation, send an e-mail to Andrea at


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