Your alarm has just gone off. AGAIN! It's 6.30am. You're exhausted. You promised yourself an early night but you only got home from work at 7pm. Then you cooked dinner. And then you wanted just a little time for yourself. Just a teeny tiny bit of time to actually enjoy your own life. And so you stayed up an hour or two longer than you should have…
But you're regretting it now as you wince at the sound of the alarm.
Wake up! It's the start of another magnificent day in your life.
Another day in which you'll drag yourself out of bed, into the shower and onto whichever form of germ-ridden public transport is going to take you to that hideous place in which you'll spend the next 8 hours of your life. You'll sit at your desk, tapping out emails to people sitting within a couple of metres of you. You'll go to the tea point at least 3 times to 'stretch' your legs.' You might go to a few meetings in which nothing very much will be decided and you'll come out with a 'to do' list stretching into the stratosphere.
Eight hours later you'll log off, return to the germ-infested public transport for that hour-long journey home where you'll be greeted by your spouse, partner or flat mate. Over dinner (if you have the energy to bother cooking), you'll off-load onto each other about how annoying your respective days were.
Later, you might zone out in front of the television in an attempt to momentarily forget the realities of your existence.
And then, at the end of it all, you'll remind yourself…
JUST HOW LUCKY YOU ARE TO HAVE A JOB.
Oh yes! So lucky! Yes you are! So very, very lucky!
Keep repeating it to yourself. You might convince yourself of just how lucky you are.
I get it. The situation I described above isn't a figment of my over-active imagination. It was my very own reality for several years. Monday to Friday was a hideous struggle to get to the weekend. And most of the weekend was spent dreading Monday. I hated it and I was miserable. But I also accepted what's constantly being forced down our throats and in our faces. That I was 'lucky to have a job.'
When it comes to work, way too many of us are settling for 'good enough'. Except there's nothing 'good' in the 'good enough.' The 'good enough' is driving us into the ground. It's ruining our health and our relationships. It's ruining our lives.
And to me, it makes no sense. This is MY LIFE. This is YOUR LIFE. For seven days a week we should want to get out of bed and enjoy it.
HOW TO START LIVING FOR THE WEEK, NOT JUST THE WEEKEND
1. Go Cold Turkey
Go cold turkey like I did back in August 2012 and pack in your day job without another one to go to. This is not recommended for the faint-hearted and you might need to make sure you have some £ £ £s in the bank to tide you over whilst you figure out your next move.
Benefits: Tons of time to devote to either figuring out what you love to do or, if you already know what that is, to start doing it. If, like I was, you're so miserable in your current job that it leaves you unable to start taking action on anything else, then it could be time to cut yourself loose. For some people, big changes and drastic action work best. It's not for everyone, but it worked for me.
2. Ask Your Employers For What You Want
Working from home a few days a week or a slight tweak in you responsibilities might be enough to change the way you feel about your job. But remember, if you don't ask, you don't get and you lose your right to complain.
If there's something you know could drastically change your enjoyment of your current job, ask for it. Here's how…
- Get clear in your mind about what you want.
- Think about all the possible problems your manager might see with your suggestion and come up with solutions to those problems.
- Be prepared to explain the benefits of what you're proposing.
- Be smart. If you'd like to spend two days a week working from home, suggest three and compromise on two. You'll get exactly what you wanted and your manager will think they've done a good job getting you to agree on less than you wanted.
- If your manager is reluctant, suggest a trial. Whatever it is you're asking for, suggest you trial it for several weeks and if they're not happy with how it's going after that time, you can try something else. During the trial period, work your ass off to make sure you deliver better results than you normally do.
3. Spend More Time Doing What You Enjoy
After a day in a job that has you crying into your dinner plate, it's easy to get into a rut of spending your free time wallowing in how much you hate your life. You want to get home, eat and go to bed. The problem with this is that you're spending no time on the things that inspire and excite you. This in turn keeps you feeling miserable and depressed. And that stops you from taking action to change your lives. Welcome to the vicious cycle.
Commit to spending some time, at least 3 times a week on something you know you enjoy. Spending time on things you enjoy will energise you and help you foster a positive outlook. The more positive your outlook, the more easily you will be able to deal with the areas of your life that aren't perfect and start implementing change.
3. Meet New People
Spending time with inspiring people is one of the most motivating things you can do. Have an idea for a job you think you might enjoy? Find people who are already doing it and ask to talk to them. They'll most likely be flattered that you asked and will be happy to spend some time with you. Why not attend a meet-up in your town or city on a topic or hobby you enjoy? If one doesn't exist, set one up yourself. Do not underestimate the power of spending more time with the right people.
4. Stop Making Excuses
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, you have a choice to make. You either want to make changes in your life or you don't. The path to living for the week and not just the weekend isn't easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it and we'd all be ridiculously happy in our jobs. The resources and help are out there but creating a life of Monday to Sunday enjoyment requires daily practise and dedication.
What will you choose?