Bigger Smiles, Better Productivity (Pt 2)

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Booking under: Nicole

Kon-ni-chi-wa!

No worries. My Japanese proficiency level is not all there yet so this post is still written in English. Maybe Keith can challenge himself to write in a different language he suggested last week to surprise our Japanese readers. Aim higher in learning a new language? Why not?

If we can aim higher in learning, we can pursue the same at work too. The importance of happiness is often underestimated in the workplace but it is positively related to motivation, productivity and personal well-being. How can we preach the gospels of happiness at work? Let’s find out!

1. Launch a blog

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Life takes you to unexpected places. Love brings you home.

Before you know it, you’re already reading our blog. In this chapter, Gretchen mentioned a paradox of happiness that “we seek to control our lives, but the unfamiliar and the unexpected are important source of happiness” which I found very true. A lot of the time, we always plan our life as perfectly as possible in a way that things can easily go with the flow and not derail expectations. Yet, life does not often play out this way so it always has a way of surprising us with unexpected things that will eventually make us happier than what we originally planned.

For blogging, as much as I love writing and did have a personal blog I used back in high school and early freshmen year, I never thought I would write and share my thoughts publicly. Launching A Booking For Two was unexpected at the first place but I liked the idea and it is something I gladly enjoyed doing over the past two months. I am not going to lie – it takes effort, time and serious commitment in the midst of busy work schedule. Seeing this blog slowly developing is incredibly encouraging and coincides with my pursuit of happiness. As such, I will commit to give my best in every post and follow the posting schedule with discipline.

2. Ask for Help

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Successful people ask for help, whether in the meeting room or offline.

Growing up, my parents have raised me to be an independent person. Thankfully, I have been able to handle things and make good decisions on my own in academic endeavors, my personal life or at work in general. Back in my school days, individual effort mattered more since I was solely responsible for my grades. Or when travelling,I prefer holding the map and figuring out the signs and way by myself. If I really can’t get the directions at the end, I would then ask people for help. When I was younger, I could be a little reluctant to reach out to locals for help since I enjoyed the feeling of getting things right even after multiple tries and always believed things will be right at the end.

Now that I have entered the workforce, I started to realize more about the importance of asking people for help especially through leveraging your network. Some people may operate under a myth that asking for help is a sign of weakness and vulnerability. The reality is that nobody can really get through everything alone and it actually takes strong people to admit that they do need support. We are all imperfect human beings just like everyone else but we can do so much more together than we ever can alone. Team work makes dream work. But of course, before reaching out for help, I will try to look for solutions by myself first and then start asking for help if I am stuck on the problem for a certain period of time. In this space, I will commit to first try when stuck, seek support when needed, help others when appropriate and share the gifts whenever possible.

3. Work Smart

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One way to work smart: color-code your tools.

As Gretchen has told us and from my experience, working smart is a direct efficiency booster and definitely helps me feel calmer at work. I do myself a little favor and always keep my work desk clean and organized since a messy work environment more or less reduces work productivity. Imagine if your stationeries are hidden under stacks of paper or if tangled power cables are just all over the desk. I will definitely judge myself before my colleagues do. Keeping my desk clear of clutter does not entitle me to a “cleanest desk in the office” award but it helps me get work done more efficiently. However, on some days, papers get piled up on my desk and my cell phone is easily buried in the paper mountain. I would spend a quick five minutes to tidy up my desk before leaving the office so that it resumes to the original setting in the morning. Hence, I will commit to toss any items I no longer need, stay on top of cluster consistently and keep my desk clean.

4. Enjoy Now

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There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy. Indeed.

“Doing what you love is itself the reward” and I do agree with Gretchen in this regard. I am blissful to be around with the people I love and care most. I am happy to be able to enjoy what I do and do what I want. I feel blessed to have the chance to work in a challenging environment where I am given ample opportunities to learn and develop my skillsets with the best people. Do what you love and love what you do. While enjoying the process, Gretchen also made a point of not fearing criticism which, in another words, means putting praise or blame aside and it kind of resembles what we have discussed last month in Remember Love. But I guess the idea here is to take criticism and constructive feedback graciously, digest it and then work for improvement

While it is important to enjoy now, I think it is equally important to envision and prepare for the future. The present shapes part of the future in a sense that what we are doing at the moment will help or lead us to achieve our life goals or fulfill ambitions. What we envision in the future also affects what we are doing now and how we make decisions. These two are closely related and can be bridged by a good plan. Hence, my commitment here is not just to live in the moment but also consciously work hard and plan for a better future.

Summing Up

summing up

To summarize, my commitments in March are:

1. Launch a Blog – give my best in every post

2. Ask for Help – try first then ask

3. Work Smart – keep my desk clean

4. Enjoy Now – live in the moment and also prepare for the future 

And that brings me to the end of my sharing. To practice my commitment for Enjoy Now, I am already enjoying the fresh sashimi here with Keith (not to mention the chilly weather). Is there anything you would like to share on how to find happiness at work? Tell us at aloha.abf2@gmail.com! We are excited to learn from you. See you back here next week to take a look at how Keith did on his commitments.

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