Work Has Become Less Important to Me, But I’m Doing Better At It Than Ever.

 Let us gaze into the crystal ball of a woman’s past working-life, a pre-COVID working-life, a working-life that I’m sure resonates with a lot of others out there. Surprise, that women is me.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with work. I know I have to do it, I understand the importance it provides in my life, not just financially but also mentally. I’ve always gravitated towards jobs where I get to write a lot, have the ability to think critically and that involves some type of human emotion — so it’s no surprise that I ended up in marketing.

But the daily grind, the hair brushing, makeup wearing, being away from my dog and husband 10 hours a day, not taking a full lunch break, feeling exhausted from my 2 hour round trip commute, eating poorly, drinking too much wine and the swings and roundabouts of office politics, motivation troughs and just being socially ‘on’ all day were draining.

The above mentioned ‘stuff’ had nothing to with the actual work I was executing, which I found enjoyable, but these things niggled and nudged their way to the top of my importance list.

I spent my Sunday afternoons rushing around getting organised for the working week. Did I wash my clothes, make enough breakfast muffins, wash out my keep cup, pack my bag, download my podcasts, fill the car up with petrol.

Exercise went out the window, how am I supposed to workout, get showered, changed and drive into work? Oh get up at 5am…I’ll pass. Do it after work? Not a chance, I’m already exhausted on the couch with a glass of wine wondering if it’s ok to get takeaway for the third night in a row.

And I don’t even have kids. Honestly, shoutout to the parents.

The structure of an office job meant that the whole day was consumed by work. Even when I wasn’t there, I was always trying to get to or get away from it. I resented it. On my commute, I would come up with elaborate start-up ideas and quick fix money-making schemes so I could do things on my own terms, get a sense of my life back.

I would get by with the work I was doing, but I wasn’t particularly motivated by it, it didn’t drive me to do more or to think creatively long term. I was just watching the clock.

I started living for the weekends.

A friend’s mum once told her “don’t wish your life away” when she would lament about wanting it to be the weekend on a Monday. But that’s exactly how I felt too.

But then something happened that has absolutely changed my working life for the better, shook up the way the whole working world functioned. I’m not going to bang on about COVID, we all know the narrative.

At first, working from home was enforced due to lockdowns, then the company introduced a hybrid working model where I started to only commute to the office one day a week. And something changed, something snapped. I was more relaxed, less stressed, not exhausted, motivated, happy, healthy.

My actual workload increased, I gained more responsibility…but I started cooking healthier foods at home, stopped the nightly glass of wine, found the time to exercise consistently (at a reasonable hour) and enjoyed it.

I had the time to take the dog for a walk at lunch in the sunshine, reconnected with my husband, saw friends and family more often.

Not only that — I started to LIKE work again. Enjoyed the challenges, got stuck into the creative side of it, tackled the hours I had set aside for work with gusto.

I’ve regained what I had lost, an actual life that didn’t revolve around the circus of work, an office environment, a sense of dreading the day ahead because there was no room for me to DO anything other than be at, think about or prepare for more work.

Now I don’t live for the weekends. I now see work as only part of my day, not the whole thing. Work has became less important to me, but somehow I got better at it.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post