I think one of the hardest things any working professional faces is “the day to day grind.” Day after day you wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, and come home; day in, day out. And, unless you hit it big, odd are that you’ll be doing this for five days a week for about 30 years (am I depressing anyone yet?). It’s only natural that after a while you might start to feel like a rat in wheel, doing the same repetitive things over and over. In my view, one of the worst things that can happen to a working professional is to get caught in the rut of just “going through the motion.”
If you’re honest with yourself, you’ve probably experienced these emotions at some point or another during your career. So what do you do when you start to see yourself getting in to this rut? What are some things you can do to break free and move beyond the mundane and make your life’s work more invigorating?
For me I’ve found it very helpful to take a step back and try and look at the big picture. “Why am I doing this in the first place?” “What’s my purpose?” “What is the mission of my organization, and what are we working to achieve?” I think that the very first step is to try and consciously take a bigger picture view.
Second, I’ve found it very helpful to try and get into the office a little bit early to knock out some of the pesky/mindless tasks that seem to linger throughout the day, and which can make you feel like that “rat in a wheel,” so that during peak hours you can be focusing on more important matters. Freeing yourself of the little things on your to-do list can enable you to focus more on your real purpose and mission. Spending your time focusing on your purpose/mission has a way of breaking you out of “going through the motions,” and helps you feel more invigorated and excited about what you’re doing.
So the next time you’re feeling yourself get in to the rut of going through the motions, try applying these two techniques. Hopefully you will find that it will help you break that cycle.