I believe that people should look forward to going to work–the proverbial “whistle while you work” of the Disney song from Snow White! This differs from the concept of work-life balance which implies to me that you can be miserable at work providing your are finding happy moments while not working. To obtain peak performance in your work, the science shows that it is important to focus on your mood and stress factors and your work habits.
The following contains an excerpt from Harrison Barnes, You Need to Enjoy What You Are Doing, available on his blog at www.hb.org (Jul 19, 2016).
One of the greatest lessons you can ever learn is that you shouldn’t be doing anything you don’t enjoy. You should enjoy getting up for your job each day. You should like the work you do and be so interested in it you think about it at night. You should like the people around you and should never do anything you don’t truly love and enjoy. There is nothing wrong with suffering though certain classes when you’re in school and there’s nothing wrong with doing certain types of grunt work; however, you really shouldn’t be doing something you do not enjoy.” He continues by stating that “regardless of how stupid you think what you enjoy doing is, the chances are you can make a very good living doing it if you really get passionate about it.”
I don’t believe anyone, especially professionals, need to be passionate about the tasks and duties of their day, all the time. This is especially true of lawyers where so much time is routine or spend on procedural or administrative matters. Lawyers, however, need to be engaged with the tasks and recognize that the micro tasks move the macro goals forward to the benefit of the clients or the public.
What is a reasonable goal for the amount of a lawyer’s workweek they should expect to feel happy, content or satisfied?