Meridith Freese is the marketing manager for the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and the West Des Moines New View Young Professionals coordinator.
So many of us go through life unaware that we are on autopilot. We get out of bed, do the same morning routine, go to work and get home just in time to start making dinner, hopefully squeezing in a few minutes to relax before getting up and doing it all over again.
Without being consciously aware of it, our life becomes a “hamster wheel” of our daily schedule. I noticed my “hamster wheel” about eight months into my full-time job. I realized that I was doing the same things at home and work because that was just what I was used to doing! I seemed to do it without even noticing.
One day I realized that I didn’t want to be missing out on the here and now, by living on autopilot. Neither should you. Here are some things that help me focus on the present. These things have helped me become more creative and productive at work, and in my personal life. I enjoy my life more when I’ve made it a priority to become intentional with my focus.
- Notice when you are starting to let your mind wander, forgive yourself for it, and bring yourself back to the present.
- There is never just one way to do your job. Have fun by thinking outside the box and doing something differently than you have before.
- Make a list of all the things you like and don’t like about your current situation.
- Create goals to help you change things that are holding you back.
- Meet people you can learn from and also cultivate relationships with others who can learn from you. Giving back is a powerful motivator.
- Make time for things that you love outside of work. It is extremely important to give yourself time to regroup and enjoy your hobbies and relationships.
There are many ways to keep yourself from becoming complacent at your job or at home. You can choose happiness and control whether you are stuck on a hamster wheel, or whether you take your life back and get intentional with it.
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