Find Fulfillment and Freedom
Almost everyone these days is OVERWORKED and OVERWHELMED. Can you relate?
At Restoring Order we believe Reclaiming Your Work involves more than your space and file cabinets. It begins with REframing how you view work in the first place!
The purpose of investing the time, energy, and resources into reclaiming your work is to help you get off the hamster wheel of life and find fulfillment in your work.
So often, we are just plowing ahead in the daily grind, pursuing a paycheck. We forget that work is about bringing US to the world!
I want you to find true fulfillment and freedom in your life; and that is only possible once you’ve changed your perspective and embraced a healthy and holistic understanding of work. Work is not something to be endured, but one of the key ways you express your gift to the world.
Work is not a means to an end (income); it is an end in itself! Finding the work you were born for is essential to your fulfillment.
Expand your view of work beyond the 8-5pm trading-time-for-dollars framework. This will be an incredibly freeing mindset for you. You’ll begin to perceive that everything you do is your work. Whether you’re with your family, friends, colleagues, or customers, you’re bringing what only you can bring to the world!
Now that this counter-culture perspective on work is sinking in, you might want to explore these concepts further. I want to invite you to take my video course entitled Reclaim Your Work – join me and take the first steps into freedom and fulfillment!
OK, now I also want to give you some PRACTICAL THINGS you can do to start taking back your professional life.
This in the physical place where you do your work; a cubicle or office outside the home, a shared counter in a store, or your favorite chair in your living room (mine is my kitchen counter!) Whether you have an office or a nomadic station at a counter, create workflow & systems to empower your work.
Taking back control of your workspace will clear physical clutter as well as mental clutter! After working with clients for nearly 2 decades, I can tell you that workspaces tend to take 12-24 hours to organize. This will vary based on the filing system involved and volume of the space.
Now, that may sound like a lot of time taken away from productive work time. Just remember there are 8,760 hours in a year! Twelve hours to restore your sanity is nothing! Plus, think of the hours and money wasted when your space and mind are chaotic! Establishing workflow and systems is an investment that always pays dividends.
In my case, even though I have a separate building for an office, I prefer to work at my kitchen counter. This is my rollabout complete with projects, charging station, and action items. Bringing these systems to the place I work saves my kitchen counter from files and paperwork!
Being creative and thinking outside the box will lead to systems that actually work for you and that you can maintain over time.
At Restoring Order, we believe that true productivity begins with the PRODUCT – and that product is YOU! Read more about that here.
If you want to increase your productivity, focus on those tasks and systems that will release more of your special gifts into the world, rather than just increasing output.
Being productive starts with knowing your style! To better manage your work life, start with systems that are built around how you are wired!
I am very visual and kinesthetic – so I while I use an electronic PLANNER, I use a subdivided notepad for TASKS. If I was forced to ONLY use an electronic system, it would stifle my natural flow. I need the ability to physically write out to-dos and large white boards for capturing big ideas.
Whether it’s a well-meaning boss, co-worker, friend, or so-called expert, don’t give in to prescriptive organizing ideas that don’t resonate with you! There is NO one-size-fits-all solution in organizing. Organizing starts with becoming an expert in yourself and your own natural style. If solutions look nifty but aren’t your style, they won’t do you any good when it comes to bringing more of YOU into the world.
Take the time to look for clues in your life and work environment to discover your own personal style and design your work space and systems accordingly.
Hopefully, sharing my own style of a kitchen workstation and utilizing both electronic and hand-written organization tools frees you to build around your own unique style.
Finally, if you’re overwhelmed with work, I’ve found it helps to RIGHT SIZE your job by putting it into the CONTEXT of your life.
You are not your career. When our concept of work is a means-to-an-end and we are serving a paycheck, it can begin to take over our life. We can begin to pursue the wrong things very subtly. Pretty soon, we start associating success with how our career is progressing up the ladder or how our income is growing.
If you find yourself participating in a trajectory you didn’t really even want, don’t despair! You CAN get off the hamster wheel!
Ask yourself, “Does your life serve your work, or does your work serve your life?”
If you find that your life is structured around serving your work (rather than the other way around), it’s time to RIGHT SIZE your work!
Work is about stewarding the gifts, skills, and talents you’ve been given – your special sauce! If your current JOB isn’t drawing on these areas you may feel depleted and stressed.
If you’re ready to live out your priorities, reclaim your work, and steward your best asset (YOU!), here’s a great tool to put your career into CONTEXT – create a mind map!
Put YOU in the center of a page and circle it. (In my own mind map, I’ve added our whole family unit to this circle.)
Then, draw lines going out from this circle and add everything you’ve been entrusted with, including your career, family, home and resources, relationships and roles. Have fun adding additional bubbles and notations off these main circles.
TIP: You can’t get this mind map wrong; it is simply a visual way to perceive the totality of what’s in your life. You can also stop and start over, color code, and highlight. My own mind map has lots of color and even old-fashioned whiteout; but I still love it! It’s very grounding for me.
Now, step back and view the rich life you have been given. Speak out some gratitude for all that is under your domain! Thankfulness increases the “stock value” of your life!
Spend some thoughtful time assessing how your job/career bubble fits in with the rest of your life. Here are a few questions to assess your job/career (with your expanded view of work in mind):
- Does it allow you to be YOU?
- Are you growing or stagnating there?
- Are you advancing something you care about through this career?
- Has it become a trading-time-for-dollars prospect that only drains you?
This mind map exercise gave me an aerial view of my whole life and instantly made me THANKFUL and empowered to bring ME to ALL the areas of life. By its visual and holistic nature, it also encouraged me to consider the congruence of each part of my life to my true priorities. I hope it does the same for you.
Here’s to reclaiming your life!