“TGIF” is no way to live
We’ve all encountered the same scenario — stepping into an elevator on a Friday morning at the office building, a bubbly woman greets you with a cheerful “TGIF”! Then, the following Monday, you see the same woman again, though this time she won’t even make eye contact with you, her glaze fixed on the floor as if trying to escape her own physical presence.
This is no way to live.
If you are one of the millions of Americans who refers to Wednesday as “hump-day”, tells co-workers on Thursday that “the weekend is almost here” and suffers from an on-going “case of the Monday’s”, you’ve become a slave to the system.
It’s time for a change.
I understand that not everyone can find their dream job, be their own boss, or retire at age 35. “Work” is a four-letter word, I get it. However, there are some basic things you can do to get out of the 9–5 rut, even if you are a subject of it, and start appreciating every day of your life for what it is: another day of living that you will never get back, regardless of whether it’s Saturday, or Wednesday, or Monday.
Change your perspective
Dr. Wayne Dyer famously says “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” I know you can’t turn a big pile of paperwork on your desk into a giant ice-cream sundae, but you can start to appreciate the moments in between the drudgery of your job by talking a walk, sharing a joke with a co-worker, calling an old friend.
As hard as it may be, spend less time focusing on what sucks about your job, and try to find the things you like about coming to work. Maybe it’s the view of a tree from your office window, or if you don’t have an office window, maybe it’s the smell of coffee coming from the lunch room. Or maybe it’s quiet moments spent alone on the toilet in the office bathroom scrolling through Facebook. Whatever it takes, flip your thinking, even for just a few minutes each day, and focus on something positive about your situation. The fact that you don’t have cancer, maybe.
Change your routine
Most of us are creatures of habit. We do the same things the same way, at the same time, day in and day out. This helps us to be responsible and stay focused, but it also creates a “hamster wheel” mentality that leads to the TGIF state-of-mind we are trying to get out of.
For one week, try doing things outside of your normal patterns. For example, stay up an extra hour late and watch a reality show on TV. Or wake up an hour early and take your kid, spouse, or self to breakfast at a restaurant nearby.
At work, walk up and introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met before.
Walk or ride your bike to work instead of drive, if you can. Take the bus. Notice the weird people. If you’ve got a sketchbook, sketch a picture of one of them.
Take a “me-day”
You’ve got sick days and vacation time accrued — use it. Call in sick for a day and go to the zoo. Drive to the coast for no apparent reason. If it’s warm outside find the nearest river and go for a swim.
Change it up. Be honest with your boss if you need to be and tell her you just need a day to clear your head out. She’ll respect you for your honesty and if she has a problem with it, maybe you are working for the wrong boss.
Can you make a living doing what you do for your employer on your own? Suprisingly many of us can, we just don’t think much about it because we’re wrapped up in the security our jobs offer us.
If you are really loosing your mind at your job and Friday can’t come any sooner, this might be the way to go. If you can’t do the job you are doing now on your own, think about ways you can make money in your spare time. Don’t focus on your passion because most of the time that won’t pay the bills (being in a band, for instance). Figure out a way to make more money then you need to spend and you can be self-employed.
Friday is a good day, there’s no question about it. It’s one day closer to college football Saturday, NFL Sunday, and for Jews around the world, the eve of the Sabbath. I’m not trying to take anything away from Friday, it’s one hell of a day.
But so is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Even Sunday.
Each of those days is one we will never get back in our short, finite lives. Let’s make sure we make the most of it.