Dragging yourself out of bed feels extra difficult on dark and dreary January mornings, especially if you’re not feeling motivated about work. Perhaps a colleague has been getting on your nerves, you’re fed up of a project or it feels bigger than that and you’re starting to wonder why you’re there at all.
Author of ‘From Chaos to Control: A Practical Guide to Getting Things Done’, Ciara Conlon, believes that we convince ourselves that there’s nothing we can do about a situation that’s making us unhappy.
“We all have excuses that we rely on that get us out of feeling like a failure. We say things like 'work is crazy at the moment so I don’t have time to go to the gym', or 'when the kids are bigger I’ll do it'. We all have these lines that we tell ourselves that give us an excuse not to go forward,” Ciara says.
“What I always say is, take responsibility for your own happiness. In work people often blame their colleagues or their boss for their unhappiness,” Ciara says.
“If it’s a scenario where there is conflict, it is up to you to address it. If things aren’t going well in some area of work then you need to communicate that, and take responsibility and take action. Try and improve the situation yourself, and if that turns out to not be possible then you will always have the choice to move on.”
Taking time to focus on your own career goals and also to sit down with your employer or colleagues to clarify what is required and expected can be helpful to reduce stress.
“Be clear about your goals, and in work be clear about your role and responsibilities as that can often be a point of stress for employees, if they don’t have clarity about what exactly they are supposed to be doing. That’s really important when creating an environment where you are comfortable and confident in your job.”
While we may daydream about packing it all in and setting up a shop or writing a novel instead, getting rid of work fear and career doubts doesn’t necessarily mean you need a drastic career change. Often, a change in mindset can make a huge difference.
“Small tweaks can be all that you need. It’s a slight change in perspective. Often our lives feel too busy and chaotic, but if we just slowed down and think about it, actually we might realise that we are happy with our lives but just need to make a little change. Small positive changes to how we live our day or our week can have positive results,” Ciara says.
Her favourite organisation tip has helped Ciara and her clients to prevent that feeling of overwhelm that can set in.
“Using your calendar to plan your schedule, rather than just using it for meetings and appointments can have a profound impact. Personally it helped both my efficiency and my happiness. All of a sudden I could see what I needed to get done, I could focus better and I could plan out my time better so I wasn’t getting overwhelmed with all of the things I wanted to do.”
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