We all suffer through bouts of work fatigue. These periods vary in intensity and length. It can range from “work sucks” to “how the hell did I get trapped in this suffocating job?!”
I have several “tools” in my “box” that I go to when I experience work frustration. Here are a few actionable items that help me break out of a work rut.
I REMIND MYSELF TO BE THANKFUL
I look at the nice things I have and remind myself that they would not be possible without my job. The house, the car, the phone, the food and the relative comfort would disappear if I told my boss to shove it.
I think about the 10% of Americans who would kill for my job.
I write a list of things I like about my job, because no matter how much you dislike a gig, every job has redeeming qualities.
I TAKE EXRTA GOOD CARE OF MY HEALTH
Regular exercise, a well-balanced diet and enough sleep should help ward off any of the medical fallout that work aggravation can bring about. I incorporate extra meditation periods (sitting, walking, eating) into my life. I read several Buddhist texts and remind myself that nothing is permanent and that life is suffering.
I FILL A CREATIVE VOID
I use outlets (including this blog) to express myself and satisfy my need for ‘control.’ At my full-time job, like most of you, once I strip away all of the bullsh*t, I find myself to be powerless. These side projects help give me greater say over products I am passionate about and good at.
I APPLY FOR JOBS
A job could fall into your lap, but the more hooks you drop into the ocean, the greater your chance to pull up a fish. I went approximately three years without surfing job boards (many of which I hate!), but I am back on the scene. It’s a humbling experience to see how few jobs are out there. So even if I don’t land a new job, it’s a good reminder to re-evaluate my current situation, which might not be as bad as it seems.
I WRITE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Where do I want my career to be in six months or 16 years? By keeping actionable items with quantifiable objectives in my line of sight, I can make sure I am doing my part to achieve them. I re-evaluate the list frequently and tend to adjust it at times when work is not going in a satisfactory direction.
I LIMIT VENTING
There are no shortage of Websites that let you anonymously rant about work.
Trashing a job or sharing work grievances with anyone who will listen can be therapeutic, but if you’re not careful to set a limit to how often you vent, you could become an addict. No one likes a Chronic Work Complainer. Plus it’s bad for your self-esteem and morale. Set aside some time to bitch and moan and then move on, quickly.
I WRITE MY BOSS’ EULOGY
I know it’s a morbid thought, but this exercise has the potential to open your eyes to new possibilities, and maybe, just maybe, get you on the road to a healthier relationship with your boss – and more importantly – yourself. Since the boss is often the root of our work grief, let’s take a moment and picture a world where he or she is dead.
I PLAN A VACATION
Having something to look forward to is of paramount importance to maintain my work/life balance. When things get tough, I can picture myself on that white-sand beach with the oceans crashing my trouble away. After the trip, I can remind myself that the my work strife helped pay for the good times.
I’m not as altruistic as I would like to be, but I’m working on that. Seriously, I’ve just submitted several applications to help causes I believe in. I’ll report back if this activity helps my work frustration.
Help your fellow human avoid Cubicle Fever. If you have any tactics to break out of a work funk, please include them in the comments below.