~ Guy Finley
If you work full time, it’s true that you will spend the lion’s share of your waking hours going to, being at, and getting from work… not to mention the space it can rent in your head after hours. It’s a less of an intrusion when you love what you do, but how do you navigate 9-5 if the work you do has lost its shine?
Hey, Michelle Cederberg here throwing back to last October, answering a viewer question that I know will resonate with many of you. Marnie wrote to me with the following question… (Watch the video below, or read the transcript that follows:)
“I would be interested in your suggestions on how to bring purpose to your job. I am currently “stuck” in a job that has no room for growth. I have kept my eye out for other jobs in my field, but with the continuing economic downturn, I feel I am lucky to have a job at all. It has perks as it pays well and has great benefits, but it’s lacking in passion or purpose. I have been taking courses on the side so that when things turn around I will have added skills to my resume. In the meantime, while I am here for eight hours a day how can I make it feel more worthwhile?
Such an important question Marnie. Thank you. And right out of the gates I’ll tell you that despite the “stuckness” of your situation, you’re doing a lot of things right – keeping your job until you have another, watching for opportunities, recognizing the benefits in your current situation, taking courses pro-actively – YAY YOU!… and at the same time, it’s so important to feel a sense of purpose for the work we do every day.
Research shows that people perform at their best when they do work that’s in alignment with their values, and when the work gives them a sense of meaning and purpose. We gain positive energy, focus better, and have greater perseverance when the work we do really matters to us.
So, if you find yourself stuck in an unfulfilling work environment, here’s seven strategies to make the best of your dull day at work:
1. First off, how you start your day will impact how you navigate through it. Take care of yourself so you have energy to battle the blahs. Plan for quality sleep (watch last week’s video – How to be Great in Bed – for expert tips), eat breakfast, read something positive, fun or empowering, maybe even get some exercise… so once you arrive at work you’re in a positive head space because you’ve done something good for yourself.
2. And on that note, can we talk about gratitude? Spend a few minutes each morning taking note of 3 things you’re grateful for in your life. My colleague Steve Foran has a great website where you can sign on to receive his morning gratitude email that allows you to post your gratitudes to his platform and read gratitudes from others. It’s a great way to start the day.
3. And then carry those good feelings with you to work, and spread it around a bit. This can be great for office culture – especially if you’re not the only one who struggles with work day blahs. Smile, connect with colleagues, share positive stories and avoid complaining, since it’s not likely to change things anyway.
4. During your work day, celebrate the things you love to do at as well as the things you’re good at. And understand that they may not be the same tasks. You may love the creativity of pulling together reports and project proposals, or the social element of reaching out to clients to check in, or quietly sorting through data…so as much as you can, seek out opportunities to do the tasks that interest you the most. And if there’s really no part of your job that excites you right now, acknowledge the tasks you’re good at, and embrace your competence and ability to do a great job, even if you’re a bit bored by it.
5. Create a work space for yourself that is uplifting and positive. Get a mug you love, put up pictures of your family or your beloved pet. Buy yourself flowers. Hang quotes that inspire you, or cartoons that make you laugh. And while you’re at it, make sure your office ergonomics are right for you… good lighting, a supportive chair, keyboard and screen at the right heights for good posture … If your work is painful, at least your body won’t be.
6. Take all your breaks, every day, and do something fulfilling for yourself when you do… which usually means no social media or games on your phone. Go for a workout, read a book, call a friend, meditate, work on a personal project…heck, take a nap. Then watch Work-Life Recharge 20 – Take Your Freakin’ Breaks for more reasons why it’s so important.
7. And finally, make your life outside of work as fulfilling as you can. Create opportunities for yourself to do things you love with people that you love. Take an art, music or dance class, try a new sport or activity, plan and prepare great meals with your loved ones, plan evening outings once in awhile. In other words, give yourself plenty to look forward to once your workday is done. It’s amazing how uplifting it can be to have fun things to look forward to at the end of your work day.
So, there you go. If you’re lacking purpose in your current work situation, may new and exciting opportunities become available to you soon. And until then I hope these tips provide a bit of relief.
And hey, if you’d like one-on-one coaching, or to bring me in to your organization to share any of my work-life recharge presentations or programs, connect with me via Michellecederberg.com.
Stay tuned for more viewer questions and videos to make your work day more positive and productive! And so you don’t miss a single episode, please subscribe to my Youtube channel by clicking the link.
Until next time, I’m Michelle Cederberg reminding you, you’ve got one chance at this thing called life. Dare to live it big!
Empowering today’s dreamers, leaders and go-getters to create the life and career they want.