Have you met Cooper? Our ten-month old black lab (read: horse) fills our house with love and our laps with his 70-pound body. As we were cuddling tonight after a long day at work, I realized there were a few things that life with a dog could teach people about working at an office. It seems finding interesting lessons in unusual places is my new thing – I will not be mad if you start to refer to me as the next Oprah. Without further ado – here is a fake guest post, written by me on behalf of my dog.
Schedules are important
6:30 a.m.: wake up. 7 a.m.: breakfast. 7:30 a.m.: walk. 12 p.m.: snack. 12:30 p.m.: walk. 4 p.m.: walk. 5:30 p.m.: dinner. 8 p.m.: walk. This schedule is more important to Cooper than the September issue is to Anna Wintour. He lives by the schedule and gets very upset when it is disrupted. You can be sure to find him staring at you patiently (and sometimes moaning) as the time intervals get closer.
Translation for the office: Timing is of great importance in the office. Make sure you follow the schedule that is expected of people and don’t leave them waiting on you – it will just make them anxious and unsettled like Cooper.
Attention to detail
Cooper is not a dumb dog. He hears me chopping veggies for my salad from miles away because he is always listening. This leads to him sitting at my feet hoping I share a piece of cucumber. It also doesn’t take him long to realize that doing what you want will get him treats. As soon as he learns something once, you can bet he will repeat it everytime you look at him because he’s pretty sure it will involve a treat.
Translation for the office: Paying attention to what’s going on around you is important and will get you far. Noticing the way your boss/team like things done will make your life a lot easier because you will only have to do things once. It is also important to pay attention to your work – this will involve much less stress for everyone and no one will have to redo anything. Being a quick learner pays off!
Patience is key
I would not necessarily say that patience is a trait that my dog has. He will sit and wait for dogs to come up to him on a walk (very impressive for a young lab) but he does not like when his schedule is broken. My family, on the other hand, has certainly gained patience thanks to having a puppy in the house. A new dog is almost like having a baby. It can sometimes be annoying to have to repeat yourself but you must remember that in time everything becomes easier.
Translation for the office: Sometimes things take longer than you expect or you can get frustrated easier than you would have imagined. If things don’t go right the first time, try a different approach to get your message across and don’t lose your head because that will only reflect on you.
Breaks are necessary
Cooper’s day consists of a stream of playing and naps. He always makes sure to have a rest after a puppy tear around the house or a good game of catch.
Translation for the office: Taking breaks may make you more productive in the long run. Try having short bursts of productivity and then going for a walk to fill your water bottle or say hi to your coworker. Allow your brain to have a short rest so you don’t burn out.
That’s all Cooper had time to share today – be sure to let us know below if you would like to hear more of his wisdom.