Wouldn’t you love your office to look like this?
I never wanted to work the 9-5 but it happened. I always thought that working conventional hours would give me an ordinary life. In many ways my life is ordinary. I hate myself every morning when my alarm goes off at 6am. I spend my daily commute trying not to kill anyone and the best part of my day is spent sitting at a desk. I spent a year feeling like a failure because I wasn’t spending my days in a publishing house and my evenings writing a best seller. I couldn’t separate work and life because they had merged into one. I constantly thought about quitting my job. Why did I work so hard at university to end up living the life of countless others?
I knew I couldn’t continue to live like this. I was completely miserable and would day dream about my days as a student. They weren’t the greatest days but I did remember experiencing a freedom that I hadn’t felt since I started working. I decided to discuss my predicament with a close friend. A delicious meal and bottle of wine (or 2, I can never remember) later I had found the answer to my problem. I saw my job as a restriction rather then an opportunity. I work in a creative environment with a group of incredibly talented people. I have the opportunity to change the lives of others as well as changing my own. I could write in the evenings, party at the weekends and travel the world one country at a time. There was nothing stopping me from creating the life I had always wanted.
Create the Desk of your Dreams
If your anything like me you have a ton of things you want to do, experience and buy. I have a very messy desk in my mother’s spare room and I love it. It’s a place were I can write without distractions and focus on myself. Lately I have been thinking about upgrading the furniture and turning it into a mini office. I will stick my vision boards all over the walls, buy a new desk top and surround it with sweet smelling candles. Everyone has a passion, a purpose or a goal. You spend everyday at your desk developing a business and a brand. What about taking some time to develop yourself?
Experience New Things
I used to think “going travelling” meant spending a year battling the Australian outback while staying in grotty hostels. This doesn’t suit everyone and most of us couldn’t fund a year travelling the world. I have decided to start out small. I want to visit all of the major cities in the UK. I went to Edinburgh last summer and it was like stepping into another world. That city proved that there is beauty and culture just around the corner. When my daily commute becomes too much I remember that my possibilities are endless. Whatever you want to do, remember you are the only one that can make that happen.
Accept that Work and Life can’t be Separated
When I first started working I thought that I could switch my feelings and emotions off. I didn’t want to make friends and I didn’t want them to know anything about me. Why? I thought that was the best way to protect myself and look professional. In the end I just ended up looking unsociable and probably slightly weird. Whether we like it or not, work is a big part of life. Ideally you shouldn’t hate your job, but even if you do, see it as an opportunity. What skills could you develop at work that will make you a better person? I am a very emotional person and often take criticism personally. This is true in both my personal and professional life. By developing coping strategies I will become a happier and more relaxed person. This is just one way of looking at work in a positive light. If you can’t change the job, change the way you think about it.
The constant debate I have with friends (and myself) inspired me to write this blog. Is it really possible to create the kind of life you want while working full time? Most people think us Generation Y-ers live with our heads in the clouds. I know I do. I am an idealist and I will always try to live the life of my dreams. In the meantime I will have to dream part time.
What do you think?