Surviving 9 to 5

Every Sunday evening, I’m met with a mixed sense of apathy, depression, irritation, and hopelessness.  Monday is tomorrow.  And that means I need to awake at 5:30AM to hastily get myself ready for my 45 minute commute, to dreadfully sit a desk and wonder why I am there, and what it is that I’m really doing with my life.  It feels dull.  That dullness permeates through my whole body, leaving me exhausted by the end of the day, with little fulfillment into tasks completed.

Now, don’t get me wrong – my job is far from awful.  I am grateful for it.  And I am actively working to make my job better.  But what I’ve realized is that for a role to energize me and excite me, there has to be a creative element to it.  Something where I can make something, where I can complete something, and where I can challenge my mind.

I am “stuck” in my role (for now).  So what can I do in the meantime?

  1. Make the role better.  This sounds easier said than done, but it’s something I’m actively trying to do.  I’ve been getting up from my desk and interacting with more people.  I’ve been going for walks during the day (as I have a tendency to remain at my desk for hours on end with little breaks).  I am working on finding areas where I can develop my communications skills within the role I am in.  I have let my manager know my interests (and pain points), and am trying to focus on maintaining a positive mindset.  It takes effort, and it doesn’t work every day, but it helps.  Inserting a little bit of “good stuff” during the day helps to make the rest of it a bit more bearable.
  2. Develop skills outside of work.  This one is more of a work-in-progress.  There was a communications position that opened up, and I felt pretty good about trying to apply, with the exception of not having graphic design skills.  This isn’t to say I have no experience at all – I did a lot of media work in high school and really enjoyed it.  But to say I’m rusty is an absolute understatement.  Part of my office makeover was to create a space that will encourage and allow for graphics design work (on top of blogging, of course).  My intent is to snatch up some new technology come school sale time, and invest in graphics design software to start learning again.  (Though if anyone has pointers or tips on where to start, definitely let me know!)
  3. Pursue a passion.  This is a huge reason why this blog exists and why I have been much more adamant on taking it seriously.  Work does not have to be an end all, be all.  I can have a life outside of work, and I can choose to dedicate my time to things that are meaningful to me.  It’s part of the reason I’ve been using a Passion Planner to better manage my time.  While I am definitely guilty of mindlessly scrolling, procrastinating, and watching pointless videos, I find that I do it less if I have a plan on how to spend my time.  And it allows me to pursue the things I enjoy outside of work!
  4. Realize that everything is temporary.  Life is temporary.  Emotions are temporary.  My day is temporary.  My job is temporary (no matter how long I have been there).  Everything in life is fleeting, and if I’m having an absolutely awful day, that does not mean every day going forward is going to be that way.  And because every moment is temporary, we have the capability to change it.  In my case, I know I can work toward something better, and that this period of time where I don’t feel driven toward my work will pass.  I know that if I keep working toward what feels right, I will end up where I am supposed to be.  If I focus on making the most of now, it will fuel the changes I wish to see in the future.
  5. Self reflect.  I’ve been doing a lot of this as well lately.  It can be difficult to challenge your own beliefs and develop as an individual when faced with new and difficult situations.  Often times, when I find myself overwhelmed, I tend to fall back on old (though sometimes not helpful) beliefs.  This is the time to challenge myself and change my beliefs, so I do not act in ways that are self-limiting.  This is also going to help me in finding what it is that I truly want, so I can find a more fulfilling role in my professional life.  I’ve been reading and listening to Smart Twenties and Brooke Castillo’s Life Coach School podcast.  I’m also reading Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.  It may seem sort of cheesy, but when I find myself in a rut, this is what helps me to overcome it and come out a better person.

So these have been my go-to’s during this time.  What about you?  Have you found things that have been helpful in getting through the 9 to 5?  Did you find balance, or are you still seeking it?

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