Last week we wrote about making daydreams a reality, but this week, we’re going to talk about flipping it. When you’re having all those daydreams, it can be good to think about all the great work you already do. Try writing down or considering just how cool your career is right now. You may have hit a rough patch, but take a moment to think through the good stuff. Maybe you have an amazing boss who inspires you each day. Maybe you figured out a new report that is helping everyone out. Maybe you are taking on an internal project and really running with it. Whatever it is, give yourself a chance to make yourself shine for a moment. And don’t just stick to work goals. Also consider the friendships, relationships or extracurriculars that you take part in. Those can be weighted just as heavily as your newest title.
Work all those details out to craft a 30-second elevator pitch. It’s similar to how you introduce yourself at parties, first interviews or meeting someone for coffee. By crafting a carefully created elevator pitch not only are you giving folks a great way to get to know you but you can also prepare to focus the conversation. Are you looking for a new job? Rather than focusing on what you don’t like about what you’re doing, talk about all the cool things you’ve accomplished, and work in what you’re looking to get more of from the next opportunity. This allows people to make quick connections between you, work, and people you may want to talk to!
It’s exciting to let your daydreams become reality and transform your reality into a daydream. And, it’s important to take a step back and think about the kind of story you want your life to tell. If the role is most important, the friendships, or the projects let those take weight. When you want to share your successes, what are those successes that you want to share the most? Listen to that story of your life you want told. If it’s not quite matching up yet, there’s plenty of time to rewrite.
We hear it in yoga all the time, to set an intention for your practice. And if you haven’t done yoga before, consider yourself warned! However, setting an intention for your practice, can apply to your day, too. Some folks try doing these each morning when they wake up, but for this week you could try just setting an intention for your day. Something that can help set it is writing it down. Maybe you want to focus on your breath today, or maybe you want to simply focus on being today. By writing it down (or saying it to yourself), you’re giving yourself a bit of a guiding light to focus your energy and efforts for the day. It’s a nice way to keep perspective.
Enjoy setting an intention!
Sometimes a wonderful daydream can be truly enjoyable to give yourself up to. Who hasn’t enjoyed a cup of coffee while imagining thanking your parents for your Academy Award, or running into an old coworker and their eyes glitter green while you tell them you were just promoted to Director of Everything? It can be difficult mid-fantasy to also assess just how much work is involved to get to that celebratory moment. So here’s a fun perspective to take when you’re enjoying that fantasy world:
- Write it down. While you’re enjoying this imaginary work goal, write it down. And don’t just write it down, get the specifics down there too. If we’re continuing the Academy Award train, start writing your actual thank you speech. Consider what the award would be for – was it for Best Screenplay? Best Director? Best Costume Design?
- Break it down. After you’ve written down all of those details, start sussing out the specifics. Are you noticing a trend that all of your daydreams include spending more time creating, analyzing, starting some thing new? Look for these specifics and start thinking about how your current skills align.
- Map it out. As you’re reviewing the trends, and thinking about your current skills and how they relate, note the skills you don’t have. Maybe check out job postings for similar roles, or find someone who holds a similar position on linked in and snoop on their background. It’s possible that a coursera class, online course or workshop could help bridge the gap. Or, you can even set up some informational meetings with folks that you really admire and learn more about their path.
It’s good to let your daydreams become reality by busting your butt and getting some extra work in to make your zone-out moments your everyday moments. By breaking down your daydreams into reality you’re giving your brain a little nudge into reality. Or, you may find yourself zoning out about accepting and Academy Award less often…
Sleep is super important. We all know that, but tonight, make a conscious effort to start slowing down after dinner. Instead of turning on the tv, pick up a book, make some tea and slow down to really enjoy your evening hours. Think on what are some of things that make you sleepy, it could be writing things down, taking a warm shower or listening to chill music. Anything that it is, enjoy slowing down to get your best sleep.
At the end of the day, write down three things that went well. They could be as simple as seeing an adorable puppy or as complicated as a small win at work. Either way, give yourself a minute to reflect on just how awesome today was.
Mindful Monday is almost a thing now. I love it.
Write it Down – your head is filled with ideas. Thoughts, emotions and reactions. There’s lots of recommendations out there to write things down, and it can really add some perspective to your day. So take a shot, and write one page today. It can be in the morning, during your lunch break, or right before bed. Just write for one full page. If you can’t think of anything to write, just describe your day, or what you’re wearing. Really anything to get you started, or fill a gap when you can’t think of anything.
There’s enough out there for us to discuss if it’s important to love your job – think of that saying that if you love your job you’ll never a work a day in your life. And, don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll spend some time focusing on work/love/play.
Today though, I want to focus on when you don’t love your job – or you simply don’t love your job on this day. It can be a really disheartening thing to not want to go to work each day yet you have to. So! Here are some tips to make today more manageable as you pack your lunch.
Sleep! Sleep makes everything seem easier. I promise!
Eat! Make your lunch, or make a plan to leave your desk, get outside, and find something healthy. No, chinese food from the place that you’re slightly scared of doesn’t count.
Workout! Pumping some iron or hitting the pavement will get you more amped for your day. And it’ll give you endorphins. Which makes you happy – thanks Legally Blonde.
Cut! Cut out some of your communications with people who you work with that generally complain. Complaining can feel good for the venting moment, but it doesn’t give actionable steps for improvement. Next time your colleague is complaining, try asking them what they would do to fix the problem, rather than just be upset about it. Or, try asking them about their weekend! Switch it to a fun water cooler chat instead of bashing Jim and his processes.
Write! Write some sentences each day in the beginning and the end about what you like and don’t like. Let that knowledge help you figure out if this is simply a low point, or a flag to start hunting.
Create! Expand your brain in new ways, maybe take a ceramics class (I’m crushing mine) or schedule some weekend hikes. Or, start researching something you’re interested in. Make a podcast! Learn to play guitar!
Gate! Create boundaries for yourself. Being always on means being always annoyed. Find times to shut down your computer and stop answering email. By allowing yourself some distance you’re having lots of mini-vacations!
Plan! If you really aren’t loving things, start taking action. Schedule time in your day to job hunt, and start having informational calls to learn more about other companies you may like. Try looking at LinkedIn, Glassdoor or your college’s alumni association.
Hope some of this helps – and if you have more tips, send them my way!