A study from the Mayo Clinic found that physicians who spend about 20 percent of their time doing “work they find most meaningful are at dramatically lower risk for burnout”. In other words, you don’t need to change everything about your role to reap the rewards – it’s about making little changes that result in a big difference over time.
We all know the adage, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. But what if we were to swap the verb from ‘find’ to ‘create’? Think about the people you know that really thrive at work – are they doing the exact job they were hired for? Probably not. Instead, over time, they’ve figured out how to focus on what excites them and what they’re really good at, and do less of the tasks they really loathe and they’re not so great at.
Try this little exercise suggested by The New York Times: for the rest of the week, make a note of every single task you perform, no matter how big or small, and how each task makes you feel. Do you love it or loathe it? Does it fill you with excitement or pure dread? It might seem silly, but this ‘emotion inventory list’ can help you better understand what really lights you up and makes you feel your most creative. That way, you can start volunteering for more of the same which will go some way to bringing you more joy.
Of course, this exercise won’t instantly make you happier at work, but with a roadmap of what you love and loathe, you might stop trying to get better at things you hate doing and know you’re not great at, and instead reframe the issue and try to do more things that energise you and that you excel at. No one can really tell you what those things are, but when you discover them? Well, that can change everything.
Think it might be time for a career move? Then you should read THIS.