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spike bullet December 2013 ~ Magic in the Merry!

Resources (links, books, articles, the lighter side)
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color bulletDecember 2013 – Magic in the Merry!

This morning as I was thinking about what theme to use for the December article this year, I was reminded of something that had puzzled me many years ago.  One year, we noticed that we had higher production in December each year.  That wasn’t so unusual except for the fact that we worked far few hours every December as we were always closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day.  How was it possible to do far more in far fewer working hours?  Considering that we were doing holiday parties and other not-so-strictly-work activities added to the mystery, then I forgot about it, until now.

Today, the answer hit me.  There is Magic in the Merry!  Starting in late November when we celebrate Thanksgiving into the December holiday season, most folks are thinking about the holidays — enjoying their family more, appreciating the special people in their lives and doing more things for others.  Therefore, they get their work done much more efficiently than they do in the other months — therefore, there is overall higher productivity.

It is a known fact that productivity is higher during times when everyone is focusing their energy in the same way for a common goal.  We have seen that in times of war – when everyone is focused on a common goal.  We saw it in the lead-up to the year 2000, when many thousands of computers had to be reprogrammed, and they were done in record time, without the predicted disasters. 

We have seen the power of a committed team tackling a very big project – like putting a man on the Moon.  

A true story: When I was in elementary school, a visiting scientist at our school told us that if we lived a very long time (like well into our 70s), we might see a man go to the Moon.  Less than twenty years later, I watched the first Moon landing from my living room — 50 years sooner than that scientist had predicted.  All because President John F. Kennedy had a grander vision, then gave a challenge to Congress, NASA and the country to make it happen.  And, happen it did!

When many people move together for a common, shared goal they believe in, productivity is highly increased.  

We don't have to go to war to be highly productive.  It happens every year during the holiday season.  Productivity increases and at the same time, so much is done for others that the benefits cannot even be measured.  People give gifts to those they care about.  People give gifts to untold strangers in the form of donations to charities, local church projects or local community projects.  The economy benefits in the form of increased sales, additional temporary employment and increased production of many goods and services. 

"Black Friday" gets its name because that is when most retail businesses get into the black instead of the red on their balance sheets.

Average people donate to charities large and small, and other worthy causes every week.  They donate money.  They donate food.  They donate gifts and they donate their time.  And, they donate their energy through positive thoughts and wishes.  During the holiday season, that desire to give shows up much more strongly in a unified way.  

Notice that when any local disaster happens, how many people show up to help.  Notice how much money pours in right away from around the country or around the world.

When people are happy and feeling good, they are much more productive than when they are feeling stressed or unhappy.  

The secret to high productivity is simple: help employees feel happy and good about themselves and what they are doing.

This holiday season, make sure there are opportunities in the workplace for people to enjoy each other through holiday gatherings and projects to help others.  Make sure there are ways everyone can show their appreciation for all that life has given them in whatever ways are most appropriate.  Companies and managers who support such efforts reap the benefits in higher productivity, even though employees may be working fewer hours.  The benefits carry over into the overall morale of the workforce so that happy employees work better in the other months also.

If you are a manager or executive and have thoughts that employees are having too much fun at work, relax!!  And, know that they are much more productive when they are happy.

This month, we wish you joy and happiness - to see, feel and know the Magic in the Merry! in your workplace and in your life.  No matter what you do or where you work, find time to have fun and to share your abundance with others.  That’s when Everyone Wins.

ps: We want to acknowledge that not everyone is happy during the holidays.  Sometimes, life is tough and people have trouble coping with whatever is happening for them.  If you know someone in this situation and they are willing to accept help, that's great.  If not, let them be where they are and don't try to force them to be happy or to join in the merriment at this time.  Their time will come when they are ready and able. 

  Internet Resources

book graphic  Books  -  Disclosure: We get a small commission for purchases made via links to Amazon.

  • The Big Book of Leadership Games: Quick, Fun Activities to Improve Communication, Increase Productivity, and Bring Out the Best in Employees.  Vasudha K. Deming.  McGraw-Hill, 2004.  ISBN-13: 978-0071435253 
  • The Big Book of Team-Motivating Games: Spirit-Building, Problem-Solving and Communication Games for Every Group (Big Book Series).  Mary Scannell.  McGraw-Hill, 2009.  ISBN-13: 978-0071629621 - and more like these.  
  • The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work.  Shawn Achor.  Virgin Publishing, 2011.  ISBN-13: 978-0753539477
  • The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It.  David Niven.   HarperOne, 2006.  ISBN-13: 978-0061157912
  • Fun Works: Creating Places Where People Love to Work.  Leslie Yerkes.  Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2007.  ISBN-13: 978-1576754085.  
  • 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work.  Dave Hemsath, Leslie Yerkes.  Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1997.  ISBN-13: 978-1576750193
  • Managing to Have Fun: How Fun at Work Can Motivate Your Employees, Inspire Your Coworkers, and Boost Your Bottom Line.  Matt Weinstein.  Touchstone, 1997.  ISBN-13: 978-0684827087
  • 7 Personality Types: Discover Your True Role in Achieving Success and Happiness.  Elizabeth Puttick, PhD.   Hay House, 2009.  US version: ISBN-10: 1401924565  ISBN-13: 978-1401924560  (UK & Australia versions)  
  • The Personality Puzzle: Solving the Mystery of Who You Are. Jose Stevens, JP Van Hulle. Pivotal Resources; (December 1990) ASIN: 0942663063
  • The Power Path: The Shaman's Way to Success in Business and Life.  Jose Stevens.  New World Library, 2002.  ISBN: 1577312171
  • The 7 Aspects of Sisterhood: Empowering Women Through Self-Discovery.  Debra Gawrych.  Common Boundaries Consulting & Communications; (September 2002) ISBN: 0971064601
  • Transforming Your Dragons: Turning Personality Fear Patterns into Personal Power. Jose Stevens. Bear & Co; (July 1994) ISBN: 1879181177
  • Income Without a Job: Living Well Without a Paycheck.  Michael Jay Anthony, Barbara J. Taylor., 2008  ISBN-13: 978-0-557-00377-8.  Website:  Tap into your own creativity and use  your full potential.  Learn how to see opportunities that others miss.   

world wide web - articles  Articles

Related newsletter articles:
    March 1998 - Improving Productivity
    November 1998 - How to be a Star at Work
    December 2002 - Taking a Productivity Break
    September 2008 - The Joy of Work
    December 2009 - The 10 Commandments of a Happy Work Life
    December 2004 - Make It Lighter (Fun at Work)
    December 2001 - Lighten Up
    December 1999 - Fun at Work

smiley graphic  The Lighter Side  

  • Official certificate of membership in the Society of Childlike Persons ( pdf)
  • Where talents and the needs of the world cross, therein lies your vocation. ... Aristotle – Greek Philosopher 
  • Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. ... Confucius – Social Philosopher and Teacher
  • When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece ... John Ruskin – Art Critic and Social Activist
  • The minute you begin to do what you really want to do, it’s really a different kind of life. ... Buckminster Fuller – Engineer, Author, Designer, Inventor, and Futurist
  • Work is love made visible. ... Kahlil Gibran


About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.   We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

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