Finding ways to make work fun is half the battle

  • Published
  • By Maj. Todd Cheney
  • 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron
One of the phrases I always remember from my officer training days is, “if you aren’t having fun, you aren’t doing it right.”

It didn’t mean you should ignore your duties and responsibilities, it simply meant you should find ways to enjoy what you are doing. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you should take inventory of the possible causes and adjust to eliminate as many as possible.

There are three things that make my duties and responsibilities fun for me; understanding the mission and how I have an impact, owning my own area of responsibility and the camaraderie of my fellow Airmen.

Understanding our mission and how each Airman and civilian assigned has an impact is essential to our success and to each individual’s job satisfaction.

The Airman checking in supplies has to do their job to ensure we get the right parts on time to repair either an aircraft, a vault or some other equipment that will support the mission. The personnelist processing personnel actions ensure we have the right people available to ensure mission success through tour extensions, performance reports, promotions and much more. The chaplain ensures our people are spiritually fit so they are well and able to perform their duties in support of the mission.

Every person has a link to the mission. If you haven’t figured out how you link up, ask your boss. It’s a lot more satisfying to do your duties when you know exactly how you make an impact.

The next item is ownership of your own area of responsibility. This can be somewhat of a complicated issue since it involves trust from supervisors, competence and attitude; however, today I will try to keep it simple.

Each individual should have ownership of some part of our mission through the ownership of their duties and responsibilities. Supervisors should give their subordinates a charge with set parameters and let them go to work. Don’t interfere unless they stray outside the parameters or they are looking for assistance.

This gives the subordinates ownership in the task at hand. They decide how they are going to get it done and they do it. At the end of the day, they have the satisfaction of knowing they accomplished something. I know I’m having fun if I get something accomplished during the day and oftentimes it starts with my boss allowing me to have ownership of part of the mission.

The last, but most important, piece that ensures I’m having fun accomplishing my duties and responsibilities are the people I work with.

Everyday I’m surrounded with energetic people who want to do good things for our Air Force and our country.

We care about each other and we want to see each other succeed in life. If one of us is having a rough day, the others are there to pick us up and carry some of the load. The people we work with and their positive attitudes are essential to having fun while accomplishing our mission.

This concept of having fun doing your duties shouldn’t be foreign and probably isn’t for most of you. However, it’s important to remind ourselves of what make us enjoy being part of the Air Force, because if you are having fun and enjoying what you are doing, you are more likely to be more productive and have a greater positive impact on our mission.

In my mind, having fun is a key ingredient to our mission success. Sure, there will be times that don’t feel fun; getting chewed out by your boss, having to work some overtime to catch up, or accomplishing the tasks you dislike the most, but overall you should strive to find reasons and ways to enjoy what you are doing. If you aren’t having fun, you are just not doing it right.