Thursday, August 13, 2009

v29.0: What's Up With Work?

Good morning folks,

-slurp-

It has been a few days since I've written.  I was off Monday and Tuesday and as such didn't even think to write.  Yesterday I was playing catch-up in the morning and dealing with other issues during the day.  Today, however, is like any other day so here I sit writing.

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Have you ever sat there and wondered why people complain about their jobs?  I don't think I've ever met a single person who didn't complain about work in one way or another.  Everyone seems to have their own idea about what "Hell" is like and for whatever reason, their job is always Hell.

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I'm no exception to the work complaining.  I've done my fair share of complaining about work and it has even trickled over into my writing a time or two.  Remember my little exercise I did last month called "Never Enough Time" ?  If you took part in that exercise you know that the normal run of a 40 hour work week, you spend a good 9-10 hours each week day for work.  Whether you're preparing in the morning or driving to and from; the average person who works a 40 hour work weeks ends up spending at least that much time a day.  Now consider for a moment that the average person also spends 6 hours a day sleeping, how much time is left?  That's right, you're looking at approximately 8 hours a day left to yourself and/or your family.  No wonder people talk about work so much, it consumes over half of your waking day; what else is there to talk about?

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Granted, if you constantly are having bad days at work, your discussions around work will always be negative.  If you love your job and love what you're doing, you will always enjoy talking about work or not at all.  Unfortunately, statistics show that the majority of us work at jobs we dislike out of necessity and not because it was our choosen profession.  You've heard the expression, "It's a "crummy" job but somebody has to do it."?  It's so true.  There are jobs out there that just need to get done, regardless of how horrible they are.  So while it may be nice for everyone to be a doctor or fireman or an spaceman, the reality is there are more "crummy" jobs out there than there are good jobs and for whatever reason, it is the "crummy" jobs that seem to pay less.

-slurp-

So what can you do to shift your focus and turn a crummy day into a good one?  Well, the first thing you need to do is take the focus off the crummy aspects of the job.  If you are the type of person who sits at a desk all day when you'd rather be outside enjoying the sunshine; go for a walk at lunch or on your break.  If you don't take lunch or are not allowed to take breaks, check with the employment rights in your area to ensure you're entitled to them.  A lot of employers out there are cheap and will get as much work out of you for as little money as they can.  Where I live, by law, an employee is entitled to a minimum of  30 minutes for lunch every 8 hour day and two 15 minute breaks.  While I rarely ever take any of those in a day; I am entitled to them and should I want to go for a walk outside, I have that option.  So if you are really starting to dislike the job and that feeling is starting to overwhelm you, go for a walk and reset; the goal here is to shift your focus not skip out on work.

-slurp-

There are many things people can do while at work to shift their focus.  I've seen people put pictures of their family and loved ones up on their walls or have a picture on their desk.  When work overwhelms them, they turn to the pictures.  If your work allows mp3 players, I've seen people who have recordings of their kids saying "I love you Dad/Mom" and they will play those tracks which always seem to put a smile on their faces.  If you don't have kids, take a comedy act or a funny scene from a movie and put it on an mp3 player and listen to it when you're feeling down about work.  Again, this isn't about breaking the rules, it is about resetting focus and taking away the negative energy you're producing by hating your job, and turning it around so you can focus clearly.  I think we can all agree that people work much better when their mood isn't clouded with anger or discouragement.

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There is no magic formula for being happy with work.  Some jobs are easier to shift focus with than other.  Sometimes the only option you have is to find another job and quit the one you're doing now.  It may be difficult at first, but your life is worth more than being angry and upset for more than half your waking day.  It also isn't healthy for you to be that way all day, everyday.  You've heard the saying, "Laughter is the best medicine."?  Well there is some truth in that saying since a lot of the time a simple shift in perception from negative to positive can have amazing healing properties in a person.  You've heard the stories and you may have experienced it for yourself.  Laughter truly is the best medicine and if you can go through your work day and laugh at least once or twice in that work day; you will have a much better day.

-slurp-

Well folks, time for me to take my leave yet again.  I need to go back and read my musing so I can try to apply some of my suggestions today.  Like you, my job has its ups and downs and there are days I just don't want to be here.  Today is one of those days but I made it in anyway because I need to be here.  Since I need to be here, time to find that shifting point and make a shift.

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Cheers,

Al