· Work Life Balance,Life is Short,Perspective

How to Fall in Love with Your Work All Over Again

It tasted like the best blueberry muffin I've ever had. We were in Sparks, NV for a family event and we passed by the hotel breakfast to grab something quick before heading out.

I chose a blueberry muffin with a cup of coffee. The muffin was nothing fancy, one of those wrapped in plastic you can buy at the grocery. My first bite was followed by a delightful "Mmmm..." as I washed it down with coffee. That's one damn good muffin, I thought, as I checked what brand it was on the wrapper.

I was surprised to see it was the same brand we served at the hotel I worked for many years ago. The same muffin that used to make me gag at the mere sight of it.

Why did it taste so good now?

Then I remembered the hundreds of times I've had that muffin at that hotel. I was bound to get sick of it.

But it was great then and it still is today, but sometimes when you have something over and over again, you begin to lose sight of how good it is. You begin saying things like "This, again?" or "I'm tired of this." or just plain "I want something else."

This same pattern can be seen in other things present in our day to day lives, which includes the work we do. We get up, get dressed, go to work, do the whole routine, drive home, go to bed and do the whole thing all over again the next day. Five days out of seven we're like a robot on autopilot.

And there might come a time when we find ourselves saying the same things: "This, again?," "I'm tired of this," or "I want (to do) something else."

It's mind-boggling because when you first started, the exhilaration you had coming to work was something you have never felt. The job excited you. You were juiced checking off one thing after another on your to do list. And now, there's just none of that. The work is still the same, you just lost your taste for it.

But maybe, there's a way you can fall in love with it all over again like I did with my blueberry muffin. Maybe there are ways you can distance yourself from how you've been routinely going about your work without leaving it.

You can start by not bringing it home. And that includes not talking about it or thinking about it. When you leave the office or shut down your laptop if you work from home, leave that world behind completely. Focus on other important things in your life. Spend time with your family. Really sink into the comfort of their company. Or you can go to the gym and take care of your body. Immerse yourself in a book or devote time to a skill you've been practicing. Have dinner with friends without saying a word about work.

Another thing you can do is change your routine. You can try Day Theming where you tackle one work category each day of the week. This will improve your sense of efficiency and allow you to actually complete long-winded projects that previously seem to never come to fruition. This will also allow you to start new endeavors and you'll no longer feel like you're just aimlessly going through the motions of life. It will enrich it by giving it substance, balance and direction.

It can go something like:

  • Marketing Mondays: Focus on marketing tasks, such as social media updates, email campaigns, or content creation.
  • Training Tuesdays: Use Tuesdays for training and development activities, such as attending webinars or reading industry publications.
  • Writing Wednesdays: Dedicate Wednesdays to writing tasks, such as creating blog posts, reports, or proposals.
  • Team Thursdays: Schedule team meetings, collaboration sessions, or group projects for Thursdays.
  • Follow-Up Fridays: Use Fridays to follow up on outstanding tasks, send thank-you notes, or schedule future appointments.

If this isn't possible, try chunking out hours within the day:

  • 8:00 am - 10:00 am: Main project
  • 10:00 am - 12:00 pm: Marketing
  • 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm: Writing - blog posts, reports, or proposals
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm: Meetings
  • 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Admin work

You can also make a list of projects you can lead that excites you that can help the company at the same time. It could be a team-building activity or event that fosters camaraderie between departments or a family day or an outreach program dear to your heart or aligned with the company's mission.

In a nutshell, attempt to make space between you and the work you do. Space to breathe, to recharge, to re-assess, with the goal of falling in love with it again.