The demands and pressures of this age can make you forget that your job is not just something you do to pay the bills. Here’s how to hit the reset button and reignite your passion for your career.
Happiness, pride, entertainment, beauty, and a deep sense of satisfaction — everyone has a need for these things, and we devote a good part of our lives to meeting these ends. Technology is a tremendous tool, one that helps us to meet these needs by enabling us to connect faster and communicate better, and it has improved our quality of life significantly. But, the downside of these advancements is that our expectations, both, on the personal and the professional fronts, have also shot up. Compare your life to that of the generation before you and you’ll note, you work longer hours, you’re determined to be fitter (which means, a rigid diet and regular exercise are an integral part of your lifestyle), you’re a lot more worried about your image (on social media too) and you’re more stressed as well, because you must constantly update your skills.
With all of that weighing down on you, it’s easy to forget that your career was something you chose, that it was once a field you felt passionately about. If you haven’t been getting a sense of satisfaction from your work of late, it may be time to hit the reset button and restore your work– life balance. Here’s how to do it.
Identify your work and home life priorities
When your schedule is aligned with your values and priorities, decision making becomes simple, and you get a clear sense of how much time and energy you want to dedicate to each aspect of your life. When you don’t have a list of your priorities, you end up wasting your resources on unimportant activities and events. That’s when you start to experience a sense of dissatisfaction — you feel like you’re not in control of your career or that your work life is not going the way it should.
So, start by gaining clarity about your own priorities. To do this, begin by making a work–home life priority list. Answering these three questions with honesty will set you on the right path.
A- What do I want to achieve by December 2018?
Instead of thinking several years down the line, establish short-term, attainable goals. Narrow down on no more than three of those goals that are crucial for you.
B- What do I need to do to make it happen?
Realising goals usually requires more work than we estimate. Keep that in mind when chalking out what you need to achieve so as to ensure that you dedicate sufficient resources to each.
C- Who are my success partners?
Think of the people who are willing to support you on your journey. These could be people across both, the personal and professional aspects of your life — a manager, your colleagues and subordinates at work or even members of your family, friends, and a mentor or a coach.
Have fun while you work
Having fun fuels productivity and creativity. Keep that in mind and aim to cultivate tools of resilience to manage stress and build a healthy, happy work environment. Focus on the following:
A- Humour: Make people laugh with you. A good laugh can be a powerful tool of engagement. Aside from making the workplace a happier environment, a sense of humour can go a long way to influence people.
B- Humility: Be humble and acknowledge the contributions of your co-workers. Everyone likes to be appreciated for what they do — a few words of encouragement may boost your co-workers’ productivity levels, thereby making your work easier. So, make a conscious effort to take the time to highlight the efforts of your co-workers.
C- Curiosity: Reach out to more people at your workplace and listen to their stories, ideas, and views. Ask questions and get to know your colleagues better. Try to explore ways in which you can improve relations and support each other.
Design your environment in a way that supports your priorities and keeps you from losing sight of them.
A- Keep a list where you can see it: The phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ also holds true for your professional life. To keep things in perspective and stay focussed, you can create different trigger cards. Represent your priorities on these cards and place them where you can see them at all times — on your desk, in your wallet etc.
B- Learn to say ‘no’: Be it time, money or energy, one’s resources are always limited, so it’s important to say ‘no’ to anything that doesn’t contribute to your sense of fulfilment.
C- Check your list: Conduct timely checks to see that you’re sticking to your work–home life priority list. Staying on track will keep ennui from setting in.
Neeraj Tyagi is a certified Executive Coach & co-founder of Greenlatte, an executive coaching, management consulting and professional training firm.