Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 5, Fun and Drudgery

We've all heard it takes 30 days to break a habit. I'm on day 5 of the news fast, and I've decided it makes sense to fast for 30 work days (rather than calendar days), mainly to break the habit of seeking something relational from the internet "community". This week I've been discovering that some of my desire for community is satiated by facebook, blogs and news sites (aaah, the comments section of the NYTimes...) but that that's really not where I want to see those desires fulfilled. After the thirty days, I'll see what I can start reading again.

Which brings me to this story of how we experience much of our lives and relationships at work every day: A couple of weeks ago I heard a story on NPR about the relationship (or non-relationship) between pay and productivity.

When people get paid to do something that they used to do for enjoyment, scientists found a lot of people totally stopped doing that thing. In the context of work, I interpreted the question as: does getting paid actually amplify a sense of drudgery? One answer seems to be that one should not work long-term only for money; it's not enough of a motivation to bring satisfaction.

This seemed applicable to my work, so my goal is to reserve a couple of hours in my work week to catch up on the "big picture" of why I'm doing the work I'm doing. I've decided to use that time to keep up to date with the literature in the field and affirm my work in that way. What could it mean for you?

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