How To Fall Back In Love With Your Work

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Post written by Mike Vardy.

Let’s face it: there are times when we just don’t want to do the work.

It’s not that we’re not capable. It’s just that we’re either exhausted, frustrated, or have just plain fell out of love with the work that we do. Any of these can happen for variety of reasons, but none of those reasons really matter. What matters is that you need to get back to work – and if you don’t love what you do, it is that much harder to do.

What it comes to getting back into the work that you love, is all about mindset. Often times we fall out of love with the work that we do because we are trying to do too much. Instead of working on the things that we want to work on that will lead to a more balanced and productive work life, we try to do as much as we can. The problem with that approach is that we wind up doing a lot of what we don’t want to do. When you do that, there’s not much love to be found.

The great thing about being in love with what you do is that even when you fall out of love with it, it isn’t as tough to get back into the swing of things. In fact, the challenging part is just mustering up the willpower. Once you’ve got that in your arsenal, falling back in love with your work is really not all that tough.

Here are just some of the things you can do to fall back in love with your work.

Take the time to recharge

There’s nothing worse than going into something you love with not enough energy to give it all you’ve got. But what happens when we try to do too much is that we deplete the reserves that we have, meaning that we don’t have all that much to give. The key to building up those energy reserves is to spend the time you need to recharge. Whether that’s by taking regular breaks – yes, that means getting up from your desk to eat lunch as opposed to sitting there doing the work – were taking that much-needed vacation, recharging is the first thing you need to do to get back to a position where you can love your work again.

Capture everything

This is why you need to recharge. You’re going to need all your strength and willpower in order to get back to capturing absolutely everything that comes into your mind. At first this sounds like an exhausting task and make no mistake – it is. But once you’ve adopted the habit of capturing everything then you can put yourself in a position of knowing that everything that comes into your mind is going to be written down (or digitally entered) somewhere. There’s a lot of power in that knowledge – and in that trust.

Curate what you’ve captured

Think of your to do list as a museum. Not all museums accept every single piece that is sent their way, right? So when you process all of your captured tasks from whatever inbox you’re using, by curating them you were taking the essential stuff and putting it where it needs to go. Some of what you’re curating will go into one project while others will going to something else – perhaps something that is really important to you and to the work that you love. The point is that by curating the tasks that you captured, you will avoid doing the “busywork” and get down to doing the real work more efficiently and effectively. When you do that, you will have a much easier time falling back in love with your work because you will be doing what’s important to you not just everything that is thrown at you.

Review what you do

Finally, it’s important to look back on what you’ve done just as much as it is to look forward to what you have to do. By reviewing what you have done – and what you plan to do – you’re setting yourself up for a long-term love affair with your work. You are keeping yourself connected to your work as opposed to simply doing the work. It is that connection that fosters the love of your work. Denying your self and your work of that connection may not diminish the qunatity of what you do, but it will surely diminish the quality of what you do.

Everyone is going to have a different set of tools for how they do the above. Some will be using a simple paper-based tool, while others will be using tools from the digital realm. No matter what tools you use, it is the system that will have the greatest impact on your work. Stay true to the system and you’ll stay true to the work – and truly be able to fall back in love with your work again and again.

Mike Vardy is a husband, father, writer, podcaster, speaker, and “productivityist”. In addition to writing for his personal weblog, Productivityist.com, he continues to contribute guest articles to several online and print publications on the topic of productivity, time, and task management, including Lifehacker, GTD Times, and SUCCESS Magazine. He has served as Managing Editor at Lifehack, and as an editor at The Next Web and WorkAwesome. Along with his written work, he has given talks on productivity and technology, as well as several featured keynotes and workshops related to time, project, and goal management. As a podcaster, he has created, produced, and hosted several over the years. He currently co-hosts Mikes on Mics with Michael Schechter, a podcast that is part of the popular 70Decibels network.

photo source: bosttino.com

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