Making Work Meaningful

Making Work Meaningful

At the end of the day, after all the grind and hustle, do you ever ask yourself: “what is all this for?” It can be easy to lose perspective and forget your purpose when you are giving it your all and coming back home exhausted. If this keeps up, it can leave you feeling jaded towards your work and result in deteriorating performance, not to mention negatively affect your health. This applies to everyone, from business owners to employees and Virtual Assistants. So it’s important to take a step back every once in a while, re-examine what you are doing and focus on what makes your work meaningful. And here’s how you can do that:

Spend more time with your loved ones

Most of us get into the grind so we can provide for those who we care about. But we won’t reap the rewards of this if we don’t spend enough time with them. And becoming distant from your family and loved ones because you’re so busy can lead to relationship problems. So be sure you are there for them, especially during important moments like birthdays, anniversaries, your children’s graduations, and so on. These are priceless, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. They will remind you of the purpose of your work and why it’s worth it!

Seeing who you are helping with your work

According to Wharton University researcher Adam Grant, “what most employees are looking for in their jobs is a sense of meaning and purpose.” And seeing how your work makes a difference in people’s lives, how it has a benefit or lasting value to them, can give you that sense of meaningfulness and significance. It also boosts performance and productivity. Grant’s findings are based on scientific observations, with examples such as nurses, lifeguards and other professionals displaying improved performance when they saw how their work helped people. In short, people should not be isolated from the fruits of their labor, since this connection is essential for our understanding of what we are doing in our lives and, by extension, who we are.

Connect with your peers and help one another

Networking doesn’t just provide excellent business opportunities, it also keeps you in grounded to earth and rooted by exposing you to your peers. Trading stories, learning from one another, and helping each other out can give you a new perspective and a better appreciation of your work. And there’s a sense of fulfillment in know that your knowledge and experience proved useful to others.

Give back to the community

Who would we be, and where would we stand, if it not for what our communities gave to us? Continuing that thread of connection versus isolation, remembering our roots and paying back to our communities can really help replenish the spirit. And it’s the right thing to do, otherwise all the hard work and accumulation of wealth won’t mean anything. This is why “VA” also means “Volunteering Awesomeness” for us in VBN, since we love paying it forward. These acts help make work meaningful by showing its positive impacts.

Pursue your hobbies and passions, indulge in life’s pleasures

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, as the saying goes. So go ahead and hit the gym, stretch out on your yoga mat, invest in that awesome new mountain bike or surfboard you’ve always wanted and lose yourself out there. Get back to writing that story you’ve always wanted to make, or pick up that paintbrush. Travel, explore new places, savor the finest cuisine and rediscover yourself. One of the reasons why you’re working so hard is so you can have the funds and resources needed for these wonderful activities. So treat yourself, you deserve it!

Work-Life Balance

Work is work. Perhaps it is meaningful in itself, like doctors and nurses whose labor directly benefit everyone. Or you regard your job as the way you can afford the things that are truly meaningful to you, like providing for your loved ones, your passions, charitable activities, and so on. Whichever way you see it, the important thing is that you don’t lose sight of why you are doing it. So maintain that work-life balance and don’t lose yourself in the grind. For business owners, lighten your load by delegating to subordinates or Virtual Assistants. For employees and VAs, work smarter and opt for more flexible job arrangements. By freeing yourself you can remember your purpose, connect with your roots and your loved ones. You will continue to stay strong and positive while reaping the rewards of your labor. That’s how you keep work meaningful. -John Li

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