A Philosopher’s Guide To Workplace Perfection

It’s universally agreed upon that as far as influential people in history go, the philosopher, scholar, and scientist known as Aristotle is pretty high up on the list.  He was the teacher of Alexander the Great (and without those teachings, we may never have heard of Alexander the Not-Too-Shabby), he was a prolific writer and contributor to the arts of dance and theater, and he’s known as the father of the field of logic and history’s first genuine scientist.  It has to take a good sized chunk of vision to be a Renaissance man around a thousand years before the Renaissance actually happened, doesn’t it?  Basically, the guy had a lot on his plate, but he made it work.

Aristotle once said, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work,”  and who are we to argue?

On the other hand, we at Copper know that not every project is going to be a walk in the park.  Sometimes, no matter how innovative an idea is or how much enthusiasm the team has, there are going to be times when the thrill of progress isn’t enough to mask the tedium involved in the process itself.  It’s neither a good thing nor a bad thing, when you think about it.  It’s just a thing, and as far as things go, it’s a fairly common one.

Sometimes the little things help the most.  We here at Copper do a pretty good job of making things easier for those who use our project management software, so there’s that to consider.  Music can add rhythm to our efforts and make time fly by.  A cup of something hot to drink gives us a split-second break every time we lift the mug to take a sip, and can soothe nerves that would otherwise be wound far too tightly for comfort (or if you drink as much coffee as I do, can make your eyes throw off sparks, which at least helps pass the time).  Decorations in the work area can help with creativity, assist with keeping up morale, and if nothing else can give us something to stare at briefly when we need that precious mental break.

I personally like to simply pick up everything critical to what I’m doing and go work elsewhere.  I grab my laptop and wander off to find something interesting.  A major change of location is exactly what gets my head where it needs to be.

You want an example of a change of location?  Oh, I’ve got an example of a change of location for you.  I’ve written this entire blog post while sitting on the back bumper of a loading dock.  I’m not entirely sure what the temperature is here, but I do know it’s cold enough that my coffee keeps freezing in my mustache.  I suppose I could go ask the polar bear that’s huddled next to the campfire that’s down the road a bit, but she looks pretty hungry.

Why am I here?  Because the office wasn’t doing it for me.

Mind you, what I’m doing is an extreme example.  The same effect can be had by something as simple as say, moving your chair so you’re sitting facing a window, or going for a quick walk around the building.  Even getting up to go get a cup of coffee can provide enough of a mental nap to let inspiration slip into your consciousness.  There’s happiness to be found in the little things, and every little bit of happiness you create for yourself during the course of the day gets you one tiny step closer to finding that workplace perfection that Aristotle was talking about.

We all have our methods.  What’s yours?