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It’s all about reclaiming you. Coming back to who you really are and what really matters to you as well as putting self-care at the top not the bottom of your to-do list.
It’s you who does your job, whatever your job is and when you get depleted over time for whatever reason – overwork, pressure, stress, having to do tasks that you’re not suited to, disempowering culture, uncertainty, change, lack of support, leadership or direction, challenges in your life outside work, health and wellbeing issues, your resources and capacity for enjoying your work reduces.
It can become more a matter of getting through, of survival. And there’s little enjoyment in that zone.
So here's how you can reclaim your enjoyment:
My five strategies for reclaiming your enjoyment:
1. Write a private note to yourself.
This is your benchmark against which you will measure progress in the weeks to come. It will also serve to remind you why RECLAIMING ENJOYMENT matters to you and help you stick with it when you are tempted to slide back into old patterns.
Dear Your Name
This is how I feel about work today….. describe how bad you feel, say what is difficult, what you don’t like, list all the ways in which your experience of work is not what you enjoy.
Then say “I am going to RECLAIM ENJOYMENT for you. I am going to help you have a better experience at work. I commit to RECLAIMING ENJOYMENT for you.”
Love from Your Name
2. Make a firm decision to RECLAIM ENJOYMENT.
Remind yourself of that decision – screen saver, password, post-it note, RECLAIMENJOYMENT
3. Think about your working day, what do you find most satisfying?
Chances are it will be the important tasks resulting in meaningful value creation of some description. As identified in the Eisenhower Important Urgent Matrix, important tasks are tasks that contribute to long-term missions and goals. These are things like that book you want to write, the presentation you’d like to make for a promotion, and the company you plan on starting. Block out a couple of chunks of time this week and next week dedicated 100% to important tasks.
Identify what task you will work on in each chunk of time. Be very specific so that you don’t have to make any decisions about what when it comes to the appointed time. It’s important that you can just get straight into it. Be realistic, in fact under estimate what you can achieve in the time available. Commit to yourself that you will focus on the task fully.
This will require you to be disciplined in service of your goal to RECLAIM ENJOYMENT. Remind yourself why you are doing it. Read your letter to yourself if you must. Without fail stick to your scheduled chunks of time and resist interruption or distraction.
4. Now think about your working day in terms of looking after yourself. What enjoyable experience can you prioritise time for?
This might be a walk between tasks for fresh air, movement or a change of scene. A coffee or lunch out of the office away from your desk, perhaps meeting up with a friend. It might be getting up to move and stretch and rest your eyes periodically instead of being glued to a screen for hours on end. It could be protecting time for a lunchbreak and eating something tasty and nutritious. It might be scheduling a catch up with a colleague or client you like.Identify one thing you can fit in this week, schedule it and plan.
5. At the end of your working week take a few minutes to acknowledge yourself.
Simply set yourself the task of identifying 3 positive things about yourself. These might be;
things you have achieved this week
things you are good at
personal achievements you are proud of
things you did well this week
things you like about yourself
skills you have, etc.