One thing I didn’t expect about the working world was the monotony. It’s easy, when you have naive eyes, to think that every day of your adult life will be something great. In your early 20s, you build up all of these dreams and goals for your profession. You will have the perfect job. You will be fulfilled and satisfied. And you will have the money and time to travel the world, etc. etc. By, the end of your 20s, you can see how those aspirations may fall a bit short.
I don’t mean this in a negative way. I’m not a cynic, and I’m not jaded. You see, I enjoy my job, and I really like my life. But it is still a routine. It can be a slough. It can be beautiful slough. But it is still the same thing, over and over again. And while I can feel my life is at the best place it’s ever been, I can still feel restless.
It’s funny because, in many ways, this is what we work for throughout our younger years. We are constantly being educated so we can someday “get a job.” Once you snag that gig, you need to practice. For years. And of course you need to keep going because, well, you have to make a living. And so, it becomes a routine. A bit monotonous at times.
In my line of work, that means more writing. More interactions with the media. More interviews with professors. I can only get better by constantly doing. But if I read and wrote all day, every day, I might go insane. Which is precisely the reason my outside interests vary so much from my job. I need to do something different. I need that outlet each and every day.
Here are a couple tricks I use to break the monotony:
1. Tap into outside interests. I have too many interests, so it would be impossible for my day job to incorporate all of them. So I break it down like this: choose the three things you most love doing. Make those part of every week. For me, it’s exercise, crafting/cooking and being social. I make sure to incorporate these hobbies into every week. Tap into interests that aren’t related to your job but still give you satisfaction and enjoyment.
2. Force yourself to do something different. It can be easy to fall into an after-work habit. But you have to force yourself out of it. Look up things to do in your neighborhood. Go to a new bar or restaurant. Check out the local music scene. Branch out of your comfort zone. If you can’t do these kinds of things on the weeknights, you must make them part of your weekend to get out of the rut.
3. Travel. I don’t care if it’s an hour away. Traveling does make you see the world in a different perspective, and it can really break up the monotony of the working stiff. Worried about taking time away from your job? It’s okay. I can assure you that your company can and will survive without you. Even if it’s just for one day. And if you don’t have any time off, there are places to go within a day nearby. Explore your surroundings.
How about you? How do you break out of a rut?