I don’t know where the following quote originated, but I’ve heard it in several places over the years:
If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
The idea is that it’s much better to do work that you love. Your passion for your work will make what you do seem less like work and more meaningful and enjoyable. For many people though, this is not an option. Many of you may be reading this and thinking, “my job pays the bills, that’s all it does, and right now I can’t change jobs”. If you are stuck in a job you don’t love, each day can become a grind. It’s easy to wake up every morning with a feeling of dread about the day ahead. It becomes an almost unbearable weight to live under. There are ways, however, to make your work seem less like work. Whether you love your job, or you are spending hours each night sending resumes across the country, these thoughts can improve your time at work:
Embrace the relational part of your work.
For work to be meaningful, it has to include a relational component. Odds are that your work for someone or that someone works for you. You may be part of a team that has to work together. Find ways to encourage those around you. Take time to get to know them if you can. It’s not always possible to get super close to the people at your work, but finding ways to enjoy the people around you can go a long way toward improving your work environment.
Special note to stay at home moms: this one can be a challenge for you. Your children will not meet your needs for relationship. So, embracing the relational part of your work may mean connecting with other moms in your community. Children are takers by nature (it’s not malicious, it’s just what 3 year-olds do). They take time, attention, and energy. They are wonderful, but you need other relationships to stay healthy. So, find some other moms, schedule a play date, or call them on the phone. Many single moms feel very alone, and that can make your workday very difficult.
Embrace Your Measurables
Few things can be more frustrating and disheartening than feeling like what you do doesn’t make a difference. If you work with a group of people it’s possible to do an excellent job yourself, and still have the project fail. Or, you can put in tons of quality hours and not be able to see any impact for your effort. If this is the case you have to find your measurables. Take time and establish some clarity about what you do. Set some clear daily goals for yourself. It may be 10 sales calls, 45 minutes of homework, or getting the dishes cleaned during naptime. Whatever it is, be clear and realistic about what you want to achieve and give yourself some credit when you get it done. Odds are you are getting a lot done, you just aren’t recognizing it!
Embrace God’s Approval
God has created you to find some satisfaction and fulfillment in work. Whether you mow yards, do homework, or raise children, God is pleased with your effort to take care of your part of the world. God is with you and not silently judging you from millions of miles away. Remember to pray about your day. What you do matters to God and more importantly, you matter to God.
I hope your work this week is satisfying and enjoyable, if not, I hope you’ll be able to take some of these steps to make your work seem less like work!
Photo Courtesy of Death To Stock Photo