Finding energy in your work

Work can be energizing, if you find the right job

Engaging in our professional lives is often a challenge. Whether it is because we hate our jobs or have tasks piling at home, many of us spend only three to four hours of our eight-hour+ days “working.” While many are okay with this work energy dynamic, chances are, you found this article because you are not. Thankfully, I am happy to tell you that there is a way to find energy in your work. Today, I am going to one area where we can harness our work energy to have a happier, healthier work-life: interest.

Interest

Having interest in your work energizes you the most. If you have interest in your work, you engage more. When you engage more, you can enter a flow-like state. Conversely, if your interest lacks, boredom arises. Boredom leads to distraction. If we become too distracted and too bored, our energy decreases. Decreased energy leads to counting: counting the hours and counting the days. Excitement for 5pm on Friday rises, and work-energy wanes to nothing.

I already know the argument you are about to make: “I need to have THIS job to support my lifestyle. THIS job pays the bills.” Of course, that is reality for many of us. I am not advocating to quit your uninteresting job today and go find your passion. Many have written on how pursuing your passion often leads to disaster. Instead, I am advocating to find interest in your work. How, might you ask? Just because your job seems boring now, does not mean that elements of interest do not exist for you. Since you spend most your life at work (which always makes me shutter a bit to think about), it is important to find interest.

One example is to take what you are doing and intertwine it with your favorite hobby. Are you a customer service analyst who loves dogs? Try to figure out if there is a way where you can bring your dog to work. Maybe you are a data scientist who loves woodworking. Think about how you can integrate principles of craftsmanship into your work as a data scientist. If you spend 5 hours waxing your handmade kayak, what kind of perfecting can you do in your job to make it more fulfilling? These are just a few simple examples of how to reframe how you think about your job and work towards having more interest in what you do.