When a person finds themselves in a job role they don’t want to be in, it often takes a while to leave.
They may regularly have the thought that of handing in their resignation, being in a job where they feel valued or starting over in a new city. However, they don’t take these thoughts seriously enough for them to result in taking action. Instead they consider them to be like a sort of daydream.
And this can go on for months or even years until they finally decide that they’ve truly had enough.
Or sometimes they’re pushed by unfortunate circumstances.
I guess the point is that if you’re unhappy and you know exactly what the cause is then you should do something about it. Happiness is possible, it doesn’t just have to be something that you daydream about.
I think that most people that procrastinate also have periods of intense productivity. It’s the only way to keep things in balance otherwise they’d just fall apart and miss deadlines.
I find that as much as a person may procrastinate they are also capable of getting things done if they create the right environment fo themselves.
Perhaps, they will write a to do list that they are able to focus on completing tasks whereas usually they would look at the list but take little to no action. They’d tell themselves that they’ll do it later or do it tomorrow even if it could be done right now, even if it would only take 10 minutes.
But when this same person is in the spirit of getting things done, they are able to get mote done in a few hours or a day than they would usually get done in the space of a week.
If you’ve found yourself working from home over the past 16 months, chances are that at some point the lines have blurred.
This happens when you don’t create clear boundaries. As much as working from home gives you more freedom and flexibility, you’re still working.
And so being curled up on the sofa with a blanket and ginger tea might seem like a good idea but in reality it’s not really the suitable space for writing up a report.
Life is about balance. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever be able to pay equal attention to all things constantly. Instead you give more attention to different areas of your life when necessary.
And that means that at certain points, some things will have to take a back seat. Perhaps when you’re focusing more on work, you spend less time with friends. Or when you’re focused on saving you spend less time going out for drinks/food. But when you’re focused on improving your health and fitness you spend more time working out and cooking.
Sometimes, after a period of focusing on one thing, you might find yourself feeling guilty for having put other things aside, even though it was for the best.
Something has to give because you can’t give 100% of your effort to every aspect of your life at once.
However, you can’t just totally neglect an aspect of your life, the trick is to balance your time so that you’re not so focused on one thing that everything else falls apart.
Around 18 months ago, the idea of working from home full-time was not an option for many people. However, last year it became our reality. Suddenly we had to adjust to new ways of working. We had to make space at home to work in the same way or as close to how we would in the office.
The world didn’t stop, we showed that it could in fact be done. But it happened because we were forced to rather than companies allowing it or wanting it to happen.
And now, as we get closer to getting ‘back to normal’, a lot of companies want the traditional ways of the 9-5 to return. However, many employees have adjusted to the new way of life and don’t want to go back.
They now save time and money spent on their journeys into work, are less likely to buy lunch, have more flexibility over how they spend their day and more.
For others, working from home may have brought less routine, more distractions, less productivity and a loss of culture/community.
I don’t think it’s a case of picking working from home or from the office but instead acknowledging that both options can work well and then finding a new way.
We don’t need to just go back to the way things were but we don’t need to totally abandon the office.
Sometimes we have to do things that we don’t want to do. But it’s important to remember, there are levels to this sort of thing.
You might not want to go to work but you have to. Work could be 9-5 or it could be a 12 hour shift, that’s a lot of time spent doing something that you don’t want to do.
You might not want to leave your house to collect a prescription. That’s not likely to take more than 30 minutes so even though you don’t want to do it, it’ll be over soon.
It’s really important to ensure that you’re not spending spending too much of your life doing things that you don’t want to do. Doing so may lead to a life of misery. And so if you find yourself spending large amounts of your day doing things you don’t want to do, maybe you could do something to change that?
When it comes to what is important sometimes we confuse external pressures or expectations with what really matters to us personally.
In doing so we end up focusing on and prioritising the wrong things.
These external things could come from work, family or friends and they overwhelm us because we aren’t clear about what we’re willing to give.
Maybe you end up working late because you have a lot of deadlines in a short period of time and it’s important that it gets done. But, if you take the time to think it turns out that what matters most to you is that you have time to de-stress as being busy has you in a constant state of overwhelm.
It’s important that the work get’s done but our wellbeing is what matters most.
Even if you know what matters most sometimes it still turns out that we’re not able to acknowledge and take action in the moment. It’s only upon reflection that we’re able to identify what we should have done at the time.
Sometimes we stop ourselves from doing the things that we want to do because we put others above ourselves.
We choose to consider how our actions might make someone else feel, as if that is our responsibility. It often results in not doing the things that we want to do.
In the moment, it might feel like the right choice but in the long run it often leads to regret or resentment.
It could be staying in a ‘good job’ when you actually want to pursue something that is held in a much lower regard by the people you know, maybe it pays less too. You’re worried that people will tell you you’re making a mistake, of the looks you’ll get at the family dinner when they ask how work is going, you want to please your parents and you don’t want other people to think that you’ve regressed.
So, you stick with your current job that you’re no longer interested in.
Overtime you grown to resent those people around you because even though they’re happy with where you’re at in life, you’re miserable. It feels like it’s their fault. But, deep down you know that your misery comes from you caring about other peoples opinions more than you care about making yourself happy.
The lesson here is to learn to put yourself first. How you feel about your life and the choices you make matters so much more than what other people think.
I think it could be said that one of the biggest things that holds us back is that we try to hard to be a specific type of way or create a certain kind of thing. Often our efforts go into emulating what we have already seen done and the way that we think or have been told that things should be.
When this occurs instead of just doing our work and creating, we put limits on ourselves.
Suddenly, the ideas you have end up being tweaked and altered because you haven’t seen things done that way and you’d rather go with what’s been seen to work.
I think a reason we do this is because we don’t have enough self belief to really do things the way we want plus, we want things to work out.
When you’re someone that creates, you never want to put your heart and soul into something and it not be well received. People not taking to your work feels personal because it came from you and often we end up internalising that feeling and coming up with stories like ‘I’m not good enough…’.
The way to avoid all this is to just be, just create. The more you create, the more you find your own flow and no longer feel like you need to mimic others. The work you do will become so much more gratifying.
The more you create, the more you lower the stakes. The first time you create something that comes from you might be scary but over time once it becomes more familiar, it will get easier.
There is a popular saying goes something like ‘insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results’.
But what’s worth understanding is that sometimes you need to do the same thing over and over again.
Take meditation for example, it’s very rare that you get it the first time. It could take ten times, that doesnt mean you should stop.
Or, maybe you’re an artist taking your work to galleries, or a writer pitching to publications. Just because things don’t work out the first or 15th time, doesn’t mean you should stop. But, of course if you’re doing something that costs money don’t go broke trying to make things work.
I think it’s good to have the determination to keep going even when things aren’t working out.
But it’s also important to know when to pivot. The end goal doesn’t need to change but maybe your approach should.