February 20, 2016

Focus on meaningful work

Coert Visser, September 10, 2013

Harnessing the progress principle, requires that you, at least on several days of the week, make time to focus and work undisturbed, at least for half an hour to an hour, on work that is most meaningful for you.

In a new interview, Teresa Amabile says that in many organizations creative work is hampered by a continuous stream of demands and distractions which comes their way. She’s talking about emails, interruptions, deadlines, and the incessant pressure to be productive and creative. She compares working in many organizations with walking on a treadmill and suggests that in many organizations the speed of the treadmill has become higher and higher.

But creative work, Amabile says, requires that you get off the treadmill for at least 30 to 60 minutes on several days a week and that you spend that time on quiet reflection and a focus on the work that is most meaningful to you. During those times, you are shielded from conversations, phone calls, emails and interruptions. By going off the treadmill, you set your creativity free and you increase your work engagement (read here what that is and why it is important).

My questions: What do you think about this? Do you think Amabile is right? Do you have the opportunity to frequently get off the treadmill?

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