There's One Easy Way to Make Sure You're Good At Your Job

There's One Easy Way to Make Sure You're Good At Your Job
Source: Getty
Source: Getty

Make sure you love it.

Being interested in what we're doing doesn't only make it more fun. It also makes you more engaged, dedicated and efficient, according to new research from Duke University.

Think back to the last time you were so into whatever you were doing that you forgot to check your phone for a text or an email. Psychologists call that intense focus our "flow" state. When we're able to complete tasks in a flow state, we do a better job at them.

Source: YouTube

The science of flow: When we find what we're doing both enjoyable and important, we not only work longer and harder to accomplish it, we also get less fatigued from the process. A pair of Duke University psychologists landed on this finding after instructing a group of college students to solve word problems. Before starting the task, the researchers had the students estimate how enjoyable they expected the task to be. Those who thought the task would be fun not only solved the most problems but also stayed the most engaged. In other words, their interest fueled them.

While the best-performing students left the test feeling energized, those who found the problems boring did worse and felt exhausted when they finished. 

So, if you hate your job: There's an increased chance you'll fail at it. 

Plus, sticking around in a position you dislike makes you more likely to get sick and leaves you more susceptible to exhaustion and stress. If you're constantly uninterested in work, you likely feel more indebted than passionate, according to recent research from Concordia University in Montreal. That's bound to be emotionally and mentally taxing. 

So the next time someone laughs when you say you're still looking for your dream job, brush it off. When you find it, you'll be happier, healthier and more successful. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Erin Brodwin

Erin is a science and health writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Popular Science, Scientific American and Psychology Today.

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