Less Is More

Which employee would you rather have, the one who leaves early every Wednesday to volunteer or the one who comes in early and stays late? Would you, as a leader, be internally frustrated if you saw your employee laughing with co-workers over a funny video, and wasting time? Are you a, “put your nose to the grindstone,” kind of worker who prides himself on being hard-working and efficient?

It turns out that apparently, “happiness breaks,” make us more productive, more efficient, more creative, more motivated and more successful! Who knew? If you haven’t read, The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, you should give it a try. Reading his book turned my thoughts on hard work upside down. We need breaks, we need to laugh, we need fresh air — all of which make us BETTER at what we do.

I am completely oversimplifying this, but I had to share. Positive psychology is a real thing and if we understand how it works, we can capitalize on it for ourselves and others. Asking for more from our employees might only get us less—and asking for less might actually get us more. It’s counterintuitive, I know, but maybe we should be encouraging people to leave early once a week, go workout, bring their funniest video to the next Zoom meeting—anything that makes us happy. Stress is contractive; happiness is expansive. That’s why it works. Give it a go! Less is more.



P.S. We will be discussing this book in my online book club if you’d like to participate. Wednesday September 29th at 5pm. Mark your calendar.

This is the A-Maze-ing Laughter sculpture in Vancouver, created by Yue Minjun

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