Saturday, October 10, 2009

Step 1: Slow the Pace

Things have been really fast and furious at work as of late. To-do lists have been jammed to overflowing. Each day is maximized until I trudge back to my car, exhausted and unable to focus on a computer screen.

As Marcus Buckingham says, you need to find the joy in the hard work you do. Getting through the work so you can go home and relish a little joy is no way to get through a work life. The passion and joy needs to be present for you to feel fulfilled. And they need to be finely woven into your day.

(Ideally, that is.)

Every workday has its drudgery - I agree with that, too. But much is in the attitude, so change is a-coming.

On Monday, I'm going to make some changes.

First task is to calm things down by slowing the pace enough so think rather than simply react. I will face the day, determined to find the bits of joy that can be had with a few small steps.

Really devote some thought to the projects I'm especially keen to contribute to and to make my own.

Appreciate the humor of the many people I work with each day.

Hang up a piece of artwork I really cherish so I see it 8 hours a day instead of hiding it behind a door.

What things can you do to make your workday more enjoyable?


fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hmmmm!! I could do to take some of this advice myself. I try, I really do, but I am subject to the demands of clients and no matter how hard I try to focus on one thing at a time something comes up that invariably means I spend my day switching back and forth between multiple projects that I only know the teensiest bit about what's happening with any of them. I'm flying by the seat of my pants and I don't know how to change it other than changing jobs!! Good luck with calming things down!!

spandrel studios said...

Hi, Fish - welcome back to the states! Looks like your trip to Iceland was a fantastic change of scenery...

As for switching back and forth between multiple projects, flying by the seat of my pants, I, too, am in the same boat, different sea. The only way I've found to deal with it is to just set a limit, then when that limit is reached, turn off the computer and go home. If your day is full, and it gets fuller by the minute, due to people piling it on, there is a simple truth of quantum physics at work: you cannot get everything done. Sure, you can try, but realistically, you simply can't pull 12-hour days for too long; your body -- eyes, shoulders, mind, everything -- needs a break! Everyone I know is getting sick with worry, with shingles, with all manner of stress-induced illness. And is it worth it?

fishwithoutbicycle said...

You are right Spandrel, it's not worth the stress it causes, but we are all so preoccupied with the thought of being laid off. Stress is one of the reasons I have given some thought to moving away from New York this year, I need a break.

spandrel studios said...

Totally hear you about the layoff preoccupation. Being realistic, losing one's job is a frightening prospect these days, to be sure. One thing I read recently is that if people feel what they're doing has *meaning,* that the effort can feel totally worthwhile, even if you're working like a dog... Can you find some meaning in what you're doing? Some takeaway that will help you in the next job or the one after that? I've found that reminding myself of the things I've learned, and the skills I've acquired, can be kind of empowering at a time when I'm feeling powerless and overextended.

Have you made any head way in deciding where your next stop would be? Did San Francisco make the short list?

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Thanks for the insight Spandrel. I struggle with finding the time to stop and think about how much I am learning, but I know I am gaining valuable experience right now, I just wish every day wasn't such a challenge.

San Francisco is topping the list right now :-)