5 Tips for Keeping Your Work Love-Tank Full

I read the very cheesy, mildly useful book “The Five Love Langauges” a few months ago. The basic premise is 2-fold: 1) everyone can be categorized into 1 of the 5 “love languages,” and 2) we all have a “love tank” that needs to be refilled so we can continute to power down life’s highway. By learning the language of those close to you, and especially your significant other, you can fill (or deplete) one’s love tank.

I was describing this to a friend the other day who said, “what if the same can be applied to a work “love-tank?” We thought about this for a minute and now I have some questions for you. What keeps you going in the work-place? How do you prevent burn-out? AND..how do you maintain strong passion for your job without falling into the category of “obsessive passion?” which is equally dangerous?

Here are some tips I’ve come up with over the years for keeping the work love-tank full:

1. First and foremost, it is essential to have a why, and don’t forget it! If you don’t have a why, get one.

2. Take short little trips completely away from your normal routine. Marvel at sometime completely different from your everyday. If you can’t do this, just talk to someone who is an expert or interested in something you don’t know anything about. I believe this was the idea behind writers of all backgrounds meeting in the cafes of Paris in the early century. Mashing different things together can be very revitalizing.

3. Assess your work environment. Is it supportive? Demoralizing? Is there an opportunity to communicate with your manager about what motivates you? Makes your day easier? Can you instigate improving the culture in your department?

4. Go to a super interesting conference in your area of interest with experts way smarter than you (my current dream conference is the99percent). This will help you remember you always have something to learn and dream big again.

5. Don’t ever take yourself too seriously.

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Mini Ramachandran

Really useful tips, Lauren! I liked the 4th one the most, since meeting with people who are smarter than us benefits always. Thanks for posting this.

Amanda Rhea

Even reading very cheesy mildly useful books helps remind us how to keep our love tanks full. I find that talking with other people in the organization about how we can make improvements together helps keep my love tank full (I guess that’s part of #3).

Greg Mt.Joy

I don’t much like self-help books, but that one was useful. The premise is that different people see different things as love (gifts, praise, time, etc.) This certainly applies to appreciation at work as well. If you publically praise your best employees but have a shy one who doesn’t like to be singled out, your praise isn’t helping. Find a new way to thank that person. It’s pretty simple. #5 is a great rule too, I try to never take or make a disagreement about work personal. It’s just business.

Andrew Krzmarzick
“He who has a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
I think I’ve mentioned them before, but these ideas definitely align with The Four Agreements.
Alex Moll

Cool post, Lauren. That book has good persepctives. It’s an interesting premise about how to translate those personal concepts into the professional context. Words of appreciation in the work place work. Quality time might translate into coworkers having the patience and willingness to hold deep dive discussions about issues of mutual importance to each other. Receiving gifts might be unexpected or novel sharing of information, like a witty quote, video (Ted or silly Songify video, of course), blog, etc. Acts of service might be displaying urgency around a coworker’s request for information or need. Physical touch could be translated as nonverbal communication and how cowokers send supportive signals to each other in the workplace.