Before we get down to work, about work, I need to vent. I hate the word “lifehack.” It’s too jargon-y, and most applications of it are so far removed from the original definition of “hacker,” it just makes me mad. (Are you gaining unauthorized, back end access to the computer system that is your life in order to cause mischief? Is getting up thirty minutes earlier and writing down the things you’re grateful for the direct equivalent of phone phreaking? I’ll stop…)
Definitions aside, lifehack.org can be a source of interesting info amongst all the content. And a significant amount of its contributors seem concerned with the problem of happiness — especially when at work.
Unfortunately, many of us have jobs that do not spontaneously bring us joy. But, thanks to the University of Warwick, we now know the quantified connection between happiness and productivity. And writer Adam Maidment, citing a 2008 report by the American Psychological Association, links being yourself with being happy. Therefore, being comfortable enough to be authentically you at work should equal greater productivity!
But, how do you be you at work? Maidment presents several strategies, in three categories. My personal favourite is “Don’t aim to please:”
“It’s okay for people to disagree with your opinion from time to time – it’s your opinion, not theirs. Having an opinion means you have a voice. Even if people decide not to listen, you will ultimately feel proud that you at least spoke your mind and shared your feelings. Don’t be brash about it. Be sure to respect other people’s opinions and even company culture, but don’t be afraid to share your thoughts.”
Many of us aren’t lucky enough to work in places where we even have space to voice our feelings. But the sentiment is a solid one to keep in mind, wherever we happen to be… Even if exercising it requires a little creative — (fine) — “hacking.”