How To Find Gratitude At a Job You Hate

I know I’m one of the lucky ones... I actually like my job!

But rest assured I’ve been in some less than desirable roles in the past, where I’ve been struck down by Sunday blues, slumped through the week and drowned my sorrows in a wine on a Friday night.

Although I enjoy my work now, I learned that even in the worst circumstances, you can make the most of your week.

Yes, it can be depressing to dread your tasks or feel fed up with your coworkers. Yes, it feels uninspiring at (all?!) times but no, that doesn’t have to be the absolute focus of your week.

So how can you rise above a job you hate?

Quit living outside of the moment

Jess Lively talks a lot about this one - if you wish away your work days and weeks, you are literally living outside of the present moment for 40 hours a week or more.

We don’t have infinite time ahead of us and we all know how quickly each hour, day and week passes when we look back. Wishing time away doesn’t serve you so it’s time to...

Fill your days with active choices

Now I’m not expecting you to lavish every joyous moment if you’re in a boring or uninspiring job, but please remember, you do have choices.

Even if you can’t change your day-to-day tasks, you can change the peripheral circumstances.

Beautify your desk with flowers, new stationery, photos of loved ones; plan fun lunches each week; listen to audiobooks on the way to and from work. Frame the lower moments with things you enjoy and you’ll notice...

What you focus on grows

If you focus on the mundane tasks of your job or spend your time obsessing about painful colleagues, those aspects of your life will grow and grow in your mind.

If you focus on the tasks you do enjoy or on the activities surrounding work that bring you happiness, that’s where your thoughts will start to default to each day.

And if all else fails…

Take responsibility for making change

Change can be terrifying at times, but if you’re sure you’re unhappy and find yourself wallowing each and every week, then you have to take charge of your circumstances.

I’m living proof that you don’t have to be unhappy in your job and if you keep searching and persisting, you will find a place you're happy to turn up to each day. Please believe me!

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What can you do this week to appreciate your job? What’s your number one tip for those stuck in bad career circumstances? Let me know in the comments below. 

 

How to Make Weekends Work for You

Even when we enjoy our work and weekdays immensely, nothing really beats a weekend.

Friday has that special energy about it and two days of possibility stretch out before us. I personally used to be the victim of Sunday blues (find out how I beat them here).

Although I don’t suffer the Sunday sads anymore, I do often find myself working through a long list of errands and feeling like I’m spending more time preparing for the week ahead than enjoying my time off. So, I’ve come up with a new strategy to try:

Friday nights are for relaxation

This isn’t really a shift for me (ha!) but I’m making a conscious effort to either enjoy dinner out with friends, go to happy hour with coworkers or hit the couch at home at the end of the week.

The real aim is to relax but to also make sure I rest up for Saturday.

Saturdays are for errands and prep

Sounds fun right?! I actually looked at what errands and preparation I would like to do and, to be honest, it’s not going to fill my whole Saturday.

I think the real mental shift is batching all these tasks together so they’re out of the way and don’t seep into the entire weekend.

So in no particular order, I’ll be aiming to nail a combination of the following each Saturday (and I’ve included a time estimate to prove my point):

  • A gym visit (1 hour)
  • Supermarket shopping (30 mins)
  • Meal preparation (see my best meal prepping tips here) (1-2 hours)
  • Housework (1-2 hours)
  • Study (more to come on this in the future...) (1-2 hours)

So even if we go with the maximum time estimates here, I’m looking at 7.5 hours of activities on a Saturday.

Luckily I’ll be awake for at least 14 hours, so half of Saturday is still mine for relaxing, catching up with people or doing whatever else I fancy.

What do you think? Am I crazy to cram all this in to one day?

Sundays are for fun

Ah, Sundays. I’m now looking forward to a mix of the following:

  • Brunch
  • Shopping
  • Binge watching TV shows (or more specifically, cooking shows)
  • Bike riding with the husband
  • Yoga
  • Museums / Art galleries
  • Whatever else I come up with!

I’m not going to pack my Sundays full, but I am going to make sure I enjoy myself.

Rigidity is not the aim here - I know some Saturdays I will have catch ups with friends and won’t turn them down to spend time at the supermarket, but I’m going to try this framework over the next month and see how it leaves me feeling once Monday rolls around.

Do you have any tips on how you balance chores and fun on the weekends? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.