How To Not Feel Like A Hamster On A Wheel






Monday through Friday.

So many days it can feel as if I’m living the same exact Monday morning over and over again. Same train time, same scenic view on the corner window seat I always hope is open, the same walk past the coffee cart guy who probably knows my work schedule by now.

Fine, this everyday motion and routine may be called adulting and or what semi-functioning people are supposed to do instead of rolling out of bed at 11AM to pour a bowl of honey bunches of oats… Why then, does it feel like this routine work life is sucking the soul out of me at times?

My boss has told me several times that he sees his employees more than he sees his kids. At first and out of politeness, I shrugged it off thinking that’s definitely not true, but actually it is. It’s not just true for him but for everyone who has a full time, 40+ work week.

Perhaps, you are quite content with your job and feel as though you have found where you truly feel is right. If so, keep thriving. Perhaps, you are not so content and feel a bit stuck, caught daydreaming about other possibilities. Regardless, the structure of the traditional 9-5 world is the reality for many of us.

I’ve always been skeptical about the 9-5 life, but the root of that doubt is simply because every job, career, industry, and human is so complex and different from each other. They require many different types of brainpower, intellect, stamina, and environment needs.

For example, a financial analyst has a completely different brain flow from 9 AM than the brain flow and environment needs of a copywriter or designer… Yet the world has set their full-time work schedules to begin and end at the same hands on the clock.

There is conversation stirring now that millennials are progressively making it clearer and clearer to the world that we so often wish to make our own paths and success, not the provided ones created by tradition. In the meantime of this revolution, however, no matter the generation, we are all subjected to commit 40+ hours to a full-time job in order to sustain a living. That very concept in and of its own can weigh the average person down and feel robotic.

I am far from a work-live-play guru, but I may have learned a thing or two so far worth sharing to help balance out and turn the switches on/off from work mode to personal mode.

Switch shit up, plain and simple. Take a different way to work. Stop by that small shop for a bagel that you’ve been eyeing but may be out of your way. Instead of listening to your Apple Music or Spotify on shuffle during commutes, put your phone on airplane mode. Doodle, read, or just observe and people watch.

Try, try, try not to take your work home with you. I promise you, your computer will not self-destruct if you do not answer that email that so rudely came strolling in on Saturday morning. Know that you are allowed to set boundaries and that you are still, in fact, a human, one human who needs time to recharge.

Make the most of your free time. This may be the most cliche of tips, but it never fails. Making the most of your time can mean binge watching that show you’ve been putting off while popping open a bottle of red. Go to that gallery that is closing in a week that you say you haven’t had time for. Catch up with friends who will be happy to hear how tired you are anyway because they love you.

Seeing your family and genuine friends lightens the spirit. As simple as this is, your family should make you feel like no matter your situation, they will always be there and odds are they too have felt burnt out at least once before. Friends and friends who feel like family can know you more than you know yourself sometimes and perhaps a good shaking from them can be snap you need to remember you are just one person and it’s OK to feel the need to hit pause on the wheel.

So, happy adulting and pass that wine.


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