Even if we work from home having the freedom to dress however we please, showing up as early or as late as we want, with no boss to answer to, there are days, maybe weeks when we don’t like what we’re doing.
What to do about it?
The 1st thing that normally comes to our mind is to quit. And while that may eventually be the option to choose if we cannot renew the excitement and enthusiasm we had when we decided to do the business or write the book or take the job, quitting prematurely can have some unpleasant consequences… like empty wallets or unmet obligations and then trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces.
You have probably never thought of your work as a vocation for a couple of reasons: it’s an outmoded term, probably reminiscent of early Catechism classes or English Lit 101 but the first methods of renewing a work ethic is to spend some time thinking about why we do it.
Out of all the possible careers or businesses or professions, why this one?
There was something that drew you, made you feel this fit you back during that time when you made your decision.
Return there in your mind and list all the reasons that you felt that this was what felt comfortable, suitable… exactly what a vocation is defined to be.
That word vocation carries a lot more punch than job or even career; it implies something deep. As should an activity that occupies 40-60 hours of every week.
Once you have listed all the reasons that you chose this, put the list away but somewhere that you can locate it later.
Take a couple of days completely away from it: 2 days where you are not doing any of the normal activities-no laptop, no replies to email-pretend you are cut off from everything including your tablet, your iPhone. And immerse yourself in something completely different- a city you’ve never been to or an activity you’ve never done.
After the respite, how do you feel?
Look for the list of the reasons you had chosen this life.
If you have been in a prolonged period where your work brings only tedium and you feel ready to throw in the towel, try these 5 simple steps:
- Think back to what drew you to this work in the first place. Allow yourself to remember your interest as more than a job; rather as a vocation-literally a calling.
- Write down those reasons- each and every one of them and don’t be afraid to sound like an idealist or a dreamer, no one will read the list but you.
- Once you are certain that you have the complete list, put it away and forget it.
- As soon as you can realistically do so, get away… literally vacate your premises for at least 2 days and try to occupy yourself enough that you don’t think about work or your job.
- Then first thing when you are back in your office, look at the list, spend some time with it. Letting the words, phrases and big ideas soak in.
If after performing this exercise very carefully and with as much care as you possibly can, you feel the same way about this work, this job or this project: the list of dreams you wrote 2 days ago feel silly and like adolescent fantasies then you probably should consider quitting.
Our lives are too brief to waste them on work which provide no joy.