Feeling restless or unfulfilled at work? Behold our quick-fix solutions for easing that inertia
Every traveller can relate to the eponymous mantra that you should work to live, and definitely not live to work. But unless you just so happen to be a billionaire, jobs (or more accurately the money they bring with them) are inescapable.
And as much as we all strive to become zen masters, it’s perfectly natural for the frustrations of the daily 9-5 grind to wear you down. So what should you do when you’re bored of your job, feel frustrated by the lack of progression/pay rise, and are generally about 10 minutes away from throwing your computer out the window, and Wilhelm screaming into your boss’ face?
We at Flash Pack are here to help with eight handy tips to help you stave off the work woes, and funnel those grievances into something more cathartic, creative and life-enriching…
Build a life outside of work
The pace nowadays can feel unrelenting, and it’s increasingly common for companies to feel as though they can exhaust you at work, and even outside of it thanks to the joys of the always contactable smartphone.
There have been days when I’ve been contacted via phone call, text, email, WhatsApp, Facebook and even Twitter in the name of work. Which is, frankly, barmy – and shows that it’s all too easy for your work life to merge with your ‘outside work’ life.
So step one starts with you creating a distraction from it. Embrace hobbies and your passions – whether it’s learning the tango, joining a book club, or just locking down regular ‘you’ time for a quiet night in, it’s important to remember that your time outside of the office is just that – your time.
And if your hobbies just so happen to help inform your next travelling adventure (we heartily encourage learning Italian, if only to help you find the best food next time you visit), then all the better.
Draw the lines
Just as important is giving your company and colleagues clearly drawn boundaries.
Turn off your notifications on your work emails as soon as you leave the office, and if you’re badgered via other communication methods, then shut those apps down. If there’s actually an emergency, they’ll ring you.
In a dream world, we’d all have eight globe-trotting trips a year to look forward to. But in reality all you need is a couple of things on the horizon to get you through those tough days/weeks. Book a weekend away with friends, see the family for some much-needed digital detox downtime, or have a holiday planned in the diary to distract from the monotonous daily grind.
Your next adventure is only a couple of clicks away, and even if your next vacay is months down the line, it’s a psychological positive to look forward to when your job is making you more than a little meh.
Read more: How to escape an unhappy job
Make the job work for you, and not the other way around. If you’re lucky enough to have a job that bores the hell out of you and leaves you with time to kill, then embrace it. Do what’s expected of you, make sure the basics are done, and then reinvest your energies and free time into developing yourself in other ways.
For example, just a completely random, not-at-all-related-to-this-article thought, but why not try to flex your freelance writing muscles whilst sat at your desk during work time? Cough.
If your job isn’t giving you what you need and it doesn’t look like you’ll have opportunity to grow and develop in your current company, then make one of your hobbies something that can help you get your next job.
From YouTube tutorials to online teaching portals, the internet is far more than just cats and nudity – it’s a fountain of knowledge that can give you stimulation when your job can’t.
Tick off that bucket list
When most people see the phrase ‘bucket list’, they imagine scaling Everest or running a marathon. Both obviously incredible experiences, but it’s important to remember that the scale of your next life-enriching experience doesn’t need to be enormous (or expensive).
Write a list of realistic and aspirational life wins, and things you think will bring happiness to your life. Sure, you can scribble ‘Visit Wadi Rum and Petra in Jordan’ on there and save towards it, but there are also smaller joys to tick off.
Learn how to make pasta from scratch, try to nail the perfect handstand or eat your height in foot-long sandwiches. Your career shouldn’t give value to your life – especially when there’s so much beauty and laughter to experience outside of it. Re-learning the value of that is key.
Catch up with old trip mates
The friendships and connections you make on your holidays and trips are often some of the most interesting people you’ll meet. It’s natural for everyone to go their separate ways when they finish a trip, but it’s so worth it to make the effort to reconnect.
Not only do you have the shared life experience to bond over, but people on these kinds of trips (we’re looking at you, Flashpackers) are often some of the most confident, positive, and alternative ones around.
Surround yourself with people who enrich your life and encourage you to make bold choices: whether quitting your existing job, or embracing opportunities outside of it.
No, not like that. Knowing your worth is as invaluable at work as in your personal life, and taking the time to not only think about what makes you happy, but to find ways to tickle that ‘you’ itch is so important.
Dabble in life’s experiences, and you could very much find that the reason you’re bored at work is because it wasn’t what you were supposed to do in the first place.
Images: Flash Pack, Shutterstock, Movie Stills DB