The Process, Not Just the Goal, Provides Work Satisfaction

November 8, 2018|

For some of us, completing our to-do lists provides great satisfaction. We enjoy getting things done.

However, this can keep us focused on the completion of a task, or goal, which can often result in missing out on the joy found in the process.

In the hustle to get things done, we unknowingly cheat ourselves out of the interactions, experiences and opportunities the actual work toward a completion creates.

We miss opportunities. Much like driving to a destination, our navigation seeks to get us there quickly, and as a result, we pass by interesting sites and backroad experiences along the way.

That’s the rub. Is it best to hurry to get to where we’re going or to invest the time to enjoy the journey? Is there a balance that can be created in today’s hustle-and-bustle world?

I once shared with a boss, who I truly respect and enjoy, how long we still had to go in completing a specific task. As I spoke, I guess my frustration was obvious, for his reply was, “And what if you get things working perfectly — what then?”

In his wisdom, he was explaining that the process was the work and the progress was part of our goal; we might never reach perfection.

My lesson learned was to always be striving for improvement but to expect the frustrations and irritations to come as part of the work. I don’t know if he meant all that with his statement, but it is how I received and processed it, and it was helpful insight to my personality.

I like to see positive results quickly and, even though I hate to admit this, it’s due to pride.

Pride and fear can often drive us to deliver faster and better than anyone else. This, in some ways, helps us believe we are showing others and ourselves how good we are.

These drivers work so well that many coaches and companies work to breed and foster them in their teams and organizations to achieve results. However, any successes these fear tactics may achieve often prove to be short-lived.

This might be fine for people seeking quick bursts in order to drive their own careers, but it often leaves devastation in the wake for others to clean up. We see this all the time in business and seem to accept it as business as usual, but this doesn’t have to be the case. The trend is beginning to shift.

For those seeking consistency and long-term quality in their organizations and teams, better strategies than fear, insecurity and pride exist. For example, formulating and rewarding things like teamwork, collaboration, quality and integrity are just a few.

Ultimately, genuine humility and confidence empowers us with the freedom to enjoy the process of a task and to complete it well.

I once heard it said that “The interruptions in our work are our work.”

So, we best get used to it, accept it and learn to enjoy the ride. Life is short, and if we keep rushing through it, we might just miss it.

Leave a Reply