Sep 29, 2014

Motivational Monday - A Different Approach to Mondays

Motivational Monday - A Different Approach to Mondays | Business, Life & Design

Mondays suck, right?  We all know that.  But do they have to?

I think a big part of the misery of Mondays is our approach to them.  We dread the return to the tedium of work and we miss whatever awesome thing we were doing on the weekend.

So I'm going to make a mental shift. Instead of being miserable on Mondays, I'm going to be motivated.  "Hey, it's the start of a brand new week, and I haven't screwed anything up yet!  This could very well be the week I kick ass at work."  If you're the kind of person who hates peppy people early in the morning or early in the week, you might want to steer clear on Mondays.

To kick things off, let's talk about problem solving.  When I'm unhappy, I'm big on making a plan.  Having a plan makes me feel in control of the situation, and that frequently alleviates most of my stress right off the bat.

I've been increasingly dissatisfied at work.  It has nothing to do with the company - which is fantastic!  It's just that the work I was initially hired to do is pretty bland, and after working on it for a couple years, it's gotten pretty mindless.

At first I just tried to work through it.  Who needs to be happy with their work, right?  But I found that the more bored I became with my projects, the more time I'd spend goofing off doing other things.  This would increase my unhappiness, because I knew my work ethic was lacking and I was producing even less.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this unhappiness didn't make me any more inclined to plunge whole-heartedly back into my tasks.  So I avoided tasks even more, and was even more unhappy with the results of my work.  Essentially, it precipitated me into a downward spiral.

So I thought, "There must be a way to spice things up!"  And I signed up for a programming class.  They've been gradually folding me into IT work here, and it's much more interesting and brain-intensive than my maps.  But... it hit a point where my learning curve slowed, the only way I can continue to learn more is to ask, and that means my coworkers are not working on their tasks, which are probably more important than mine.

The programming class was intended as a solution for that - a way to learn more quickly and take up less of my coworker's time.  And it's been somewhat effective so far.  Although I do still need to force myself to "bother" them and ask questions so my IT projects at work don't stall out.

But with the terrible work habits I've accumulated so far, it's very easy to find other things to do that don't involve asking for help and bothering people.  And that don't involve terrible, tedious map projects.  And I thought I'd reached a stalemate with those.

But then I read this post by Anastasia Amour, which talks about 3 simple steps for improving your job satisfaction.  And you know what?  I knew them already.  But I wasn't willing to take it all the way.  I knew what I needed to do, but didn't have the discipline to follow through.

So I did it.  I changed the passwords to my personal email, blog, and feed readers to long, horrible things that I don't know but are on my Keepass at home.  So I can get in, just not at work.

What this means for the blog is less involvement, with this blog and reading others (although I hope to keep up during lunchtime and in the evenings).  But I think it's a necessary change.  As much as I love my hobby, it is just that: a hobby.  And I can't use it as an excuse to avoid real world problems anymore.

Downward spiral, I may not have had the strength of mind to quit you, but I had the tools to force me to do it.  And now, watch me work!

How do you avoid procrastination and goofing off at work?  Have you ever been unhappy with a job and how did you fix it?

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