Besides being a part of the forbidden year (I mean, c'mon, world was suppose to end), January 2nd has it's whole own breed of "suck" with it. 2013 marks the start of my 4th year working for myself, and it always reminds me to love what I do, because I do it a lot.
About 6 years ago, I returned to my desk at work at Cars.com to dig back in to my web designer duties. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, it had been just an awesome combination of working, and personal time. But now, NOW routine was beginning to set back in. Something I don't handle well.
As I looked at my calendar, I saw the rest of January. Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, I was expected to be in this desk. Sure I could use personal days or sick days, but I'd rather save those for later in the year. Then, I looked at February. All 28 days, I was expected to be in that desk. March and April, the same thing. It wouldn't be until the end of May that I would be "rewarded" with another day off from the company. Memorial Day, the start of summer, would be the next time I'd have a weekday off.
I think what made it worse is that the company expectations were not results oriented. Let's say I busted my ass on a 5 day project and finished it in 3 days, I'd still have to be sitting in that desk for 2 days, even if there was nothing to do.
I know that this is what a lot of people do, and that I was suppose to "grow up" and deal with it, but....why?! I ended up blowing through my vacation time and sick days by July, before leaving the company. I think it's truly important to balance personal time with work time. I believe time off can make a person more productive.
Let's say for example, I gave you 2 weeks to complete a project. Well, you'll complete it in 2 weeks. Let's say I gave you that exact same project and said you have 1 week to complete it. You'd complete it in 1 week. We take more time because we can when we know we have to be somewhere and don't have much else to do. We need more results oriented workplaces!
With the new year, be sure to take a fresh look at where you're at with your working life. Are you happy? If not, do something about it. Life's too short. Start today to make that change, so when January 2nd, 2014 rolls around, you're not sitting there dreading the next FIVE MONTHS of your life, looking forward to every weekend.
Back when I was interviewing with producers for the CBS reality dating show I was on, one of their questions was, "what's your biggest accomplishment in life?" I would tell them "Everyday is my biggest accomplishment." I do what I love, and I love doing it. I'm not unique, I'm not special, just a guy trying to get the most out of everyday before it's gone.
Check out this clip from "Up In the Air" if you need a little more motivation. It's a new year, folks. Anything could happen. Let it!
Filed under: Tips for Life