Keep on keeping on

So the holidays are over, the new year has begun and we’re back to work/academia.  For some there will be renewed energy, either in their current work, or to make that change that they’ve been putting off ad infinitum.  There are lots of articles focusing on those people.

For many of us though work will seem more a less of a trudge, the same-old-same-old, that gives us enough of what we need (money, status, enjoyment etc.) to keep on going, but not enough to really light any fire we have inside us.

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So, if that’s you, how do you make the best of it?

1 Get a quick win under your belt
There will be things on your to do list that aren’t technically both important and urgent, but that you can successfully do in a short period of time.  Do one of these first – whilst this might not be good advice generally, having a quick success will boost your ego and your energy, and reduce that to do list.  You can leverage that rush of positivity to tackle the important and urgent things.

2 Schedule in your most satisfying tasks
The nearest we can get to ‘me time’ at work is engaging in the parts of the job that you enjoy the most, so, with 2019 stretching ahead, schedule those activities into your diary now.  If you want to be even more self-manipulative, choose the time of the day/week that you normally have a slump to schedule these activities.  Again, these boosts of positive activity will power you through some of the rest, and give you something to look forward to.

3 Plan how to improve the activities that you dread
No job is perfect, there’s always something that we don’t like.  So instead of just grinning and bearing it put some positive energy into improving it.  Maybe it could be automated with the latest tech, or delegated/passed to someone who likes that kind of thing/needs the experience for their development, or could it even be reduced or stopped – does anyone read that weekly report? And if they do, would they be bothered if you did it fortnightly instead?

We do need to crank out the work, but as long as the objectives are met, there’s nothing wrong with you spending sometime how to improve your experience of doing so.