A study from the Mayo Clinic found that physicians who spend about 20 percent of their time doing “work they find most meaningful are at dramatically lower risk for burnout.” But here’s what’s fascinating: Anything beyond that 20 percent has a marginal impact, as “spending 50 percent of your time in the most meaningful area is associated with similar rates of burnout as 20 percent.”
In other words: You don’t need to change everything about your job to see substantial benefits. A few changes here and there can be all you need.
“When you look at people who are thriving in their jobs, you notice that they didn’t find them, they made them,” said Ashley Goodall, senior vice president of leadership and team intelligence at Cisco and co-author of the book “Nine Lies About Work.”
“We’re told in every commencement speech that if you find a job you love you’ll never work a day in your life. But the verb is wrong,” he said, adding that successful people who love their jobs take “the job that was there at the beginning and then over time they transform the contents of that job.”
For a full week, carry a notepad at all times. Draw a line down the center of a page and label one column “Love” and the other column “Loathe.” Whenever you perform a task, no matter how small, be mindful of how it makes you feel. Are you excited about it? Do you look forward to it? Does time fly when you’re doing it? Or did you procrastinate, dreading every moment and feeling drained by the time you’re done?
It seems silly, but it works.