Did you ever meet someone that lives five days of the week just waiting for the last 2? They wake up tired or without any motivation, they go to work, they do whatever they have to do, and then, Friday evening, they get a sense of freedom!
“It’s the weekend!” they say. “I’ve been waiting for it to be Friday since Monday!”
Isn’t that just plainly sad… Seriously, let’s think about it for a moment. How can someone allow themselves to live 2/3 of their life mindlessly working without enjoying what they’re doing?
Ah, and the worst part? The people that so eagerly look forward to the weekend do certain things to thing to their body and mind in those two days that the next week they cannot even remember what they did in the weekend!
So that’s five days of purposeless work, followed by two days of knocking yourself unconscious with too much alcohol, food, or a variety of other things that I would prefer not to mention here.
I don’t know about you, but that is NOT how I want to live my life. I see every day as a blessing. I’ve been everything from a simple farmboy, working the land and taking care of livestock, to a business owner, managing international projects.
Though my field has changed a bit, one thing remained constant: My love for what I do and my dedication to provide the best results that I’m capable of! Even when no one else is looking!
Our days seem to fade away super fast, and having to work for eight to twelve hours a day might be fun sometimes, but for most people, it’s nothing more than a burden. They *have* to wake up, they *have* to go to work, they *have* to work and so on.
A life that should have been fun and exciting, rapidly turns into a labyrinth of monotony and routine, with apparently no time for the things that matter.
I want to tell you today that it does not have to be like that. You CAN make your work feel both fun and rewarding. I personally use ALL of the below suggestions, but correctly implementing even just one, will surely boost your levels of happiness and fulfillment! So let’s get right into it:
Listen to appropriate music
I’ll start with the easiest of all: Music. Almost 100% of the time that I’m working, I have my headphones on. I don’t always listen to anything though, but rather use them as my method of canceling out sound so that I can “hear my thoughts better” and not get interrupted.
Though silence is useful, many times I listen to music to aid either my concentration or my mood. For example, whenever I have an administrative or repetitive task to do (which I don’t really enjoy), I put on some Epic Legendary Intense Massive Heroic Vengeful Dramatic Music! (I actually like the name more than the mix itself 🙂
Take frequent breaks
There has been much research done on the topic of productivity and the levels of happiness of today’s professionals. In almost all cases, the result is the same: Don’t remain static, move.
The best frequency I found is to take a short break every 25 minutes or so. That’s about two breaks per hour. I get up, drink a glass of water or eat a fruit, stretch a bit or maybe do a few pushups, organize my office and so on.
The 25 minute period is just a suggestion. I personally get up whenever I feel that I’m not functioning at full potential. Of course, that does not mean that I get up whenever I have difficulties in doing something. No, not at all.
Sometimes I take a break after just ten minutes, other times I’m so focus on what I’m doing that I work nonstop for several hours. Then I look at the time and go: “Oh crap! I should eat something!”
Mix it up!
Within any given day’s agenda, I always have a multitude of “possible” activities. Yes, I have my TOP 1 (The 1 activity I *must* do today, no excuses accepted) and important 3, but after that, I have a dozen other items I can do, both for my career and for my personal life.
If I finish my main tasks for the day, I can continue to work, or I can do other things, but it’s important for me to have an arsenal of things to do so that I keep myself occupied all day, every day!
Examples of how I mix-it-up: Write and publish an article, read 10 pages of X, walk the dog, wash dishes, write some code, send emails, call mom, workout, learn Spanish, write/improve a business process, plan, meditate, etc.
There aren’t really any days in which I don’t do *something*, even if it’s not exactly what I planned, at the end of the day, I feel good about myself that I did some useful things. These also help you to maintain a certain balance in your life.
Change the scenery
A cubical might not always be the best place for epic productivity and creativity. I personally love working from home, but many times I find myself feeling the need for a change. In those moments, I go to a restaurant, to a park, to the local library or I just use my iPad and work on the go.
I noticed that my productivity drops whenever I’m not 100% alone and at a desk. For me, it’s just the best way to get things done, but you might have another way, and that’s perfectly OK. In either case, productivity is not always the answer. We, as humans, have a need for variety, so we will always find ways to fulfill it.
Drink something you enjoy!
A healthy green drink, a tasty protein shake, a calming tea or just plain water. Many times I have a lot of work to do, so eating doesn’t sound all that good, but a fast and refreshing drink always hits the spot!
For example, writing articles seems to be more fun when I allow myself to enjoy a sip after every phrase. I seem to write faster and more whenever I add a drink to the equation. Try it for yourself, it might just work!
Make it a team effort
I played a lot of video games (too much). What I loved most about them was the ability to play with others. Single-player games never really kept me interested for long, except for when they had an AWESOME storyline, such as Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo.
Whenever you have a team “fighting” for the same goal, it makes the journey ten times more enjoyable! I write the article, someone else edits and publishes it, yet another person shares it on social media sites.
In a team, usually performance is also increased. You tend to deliver better results when you know that your team (or clients) are counting on you to do so. Sharing life’s beautiful experiences with others just makes the journey much more exciting!
Celebrate the small wins!
Another reason I was so addicted to such games was because of constant rewards! I would do a mission (finish a task) and automatically get a bit of (virtual) money, character experience, a reputation gain with that specific faction, better equipment, access to new quests and so on!
We tend to forget that happiness is a journey, not a destination. All victories, no matter how small, should be celebrated in one form or another! I personally have a (pathetic) victory dance that I do after I finish each mini-task! It’s even more effective when there are other people around and they start making fun of it.
My angel, for example, visits her nutritionist once per month. If he gives her good news (she lost a significant amount of fat and/or gained some muscle) then she rewards herself by eating whatever she feel like for that entire day!
Always have a goal in mind!
Work becomes ever more exciting when you know that the completion of certain tasks will lead to something amazing! This can be either work related or personal.
For example, I’ve written over 100 pages of useful content for Wesrom’s newest product: “The Path to a Truly Healthy Body.” Whilst working on such a huge task, you sometimes tend to forget why you’re doing it in the first place, especially when the skin of your elbows is torn off from so much friction on the table (true story, it happened to me just last week.)
BUT, each time I would hit writer’s block or just feel overwhelmed with work, I would remember that this course is going to help tens, maybe even hundreds of thousands of people to improve the quality of their lives! That I’m not doing this for myself, but for a higher purpose!
You can also add personal goal to the equation! For example, just yesterday I came back from a (very short, but) amazing trip to Acapulco with my angel, Adriana, and four other friends! It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I can use my knowledge and skills to help others reach their goals and that, in return, they help me reach mine!
I simply love what I do and all of the people I work with can tell from the first few minutes. The main reason for this is that I always have a very well defined goal attached to everything I do! This makes every activity feel like a step towards my vision!
(Decide to) Work with people you like!
Do you know what the main reason for which most people quit their jobs? No, it’s not the salary nor the work nor the work hours. It’s because of their colleagues. Either their boss or their peers are making their lives worse every time they go do work, so why would they continue to do so?
They just lose their motivation and find every possible excuse to *not* work as much as they can. As specified above, they just do it because they *have* to, but not because they really want to.
If you feel like you found the career of your life, but simply don’t like your team, then do your best to focus on your work and no the people. Sooner or later, the better you become at what you do, you’ll either start making the calls within that team, move to another company or start your own! In either case, make sure that you’re having fun!
Remember that you’re blessed.
Lastly, I couldn’t finish such an article without talking about the practice of being grateful. I see many people today with a face that just screams: “I’m bored!” or “I’m unhappy!”
These people genuinely do not realize how truly blessed they are! Can you read or listen to this article? Can you love and be loved? Can you work towards your dreams in one way or another?
If yes, well then it’s time to stop acting like a victim, and start being grateful for all of the things that you have been blessed with. I promise you that the World changes its form the moment you start counting your blessings and not your cravings.
Though this article is a bit longer than usual, I strongly believe that finding a sense of joy and fulfillment in doing what you do most of the time, will allow you to live with passion and “contaminate” the people around you.
If you don’t already jump out of bed at 5AM in the morning with the exciting thought of “Yes! I was blessed to live another day! I’ll make the most of it!” then you might want to do a life assessment and see what’s wrong. If you need any help, be sure to get in touch.
Creating a better tomorrow,