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How To Stay Super Sharp After A Soul Crushing Job?

Kybalion

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Hey, how ya'll dooin?

I am doooooin real fine myself, thanks for asking!

I got a question for You productive folk of the Fastlane Forum

Recently I ran into a new challenge. I am an unpaid intern - working in the public sector. (I have to do this to get my useless degree, to make my family happy - yea, I should do me and all that, but I feel indebted to them and there are only 3 months left till I graduate!!! )

Do not get me wrong, I am grateful for the opportunity to help the bureaucrats and serve my country... but after I come home I feel empty, drained and unfocused.

I have trouble focusing on my projects.

Now tell me - am I being a lazy sack of potatoes or is there a way to get into the zone even after long day of booooooooooooooring menial tasks?

Do You have any tips to keep up the hustle after getting home from work?

Any thoughts welcome!


P.S.

Thank You all for being here! You have given me so much direction I feel like a navigation system! Thanks for aligning me with my purpose guys! <3
 

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Patrick Jones

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It's really tough. When I was still employed, those hours in the office drained all my energy.

I found it helpful to excercise and/or do something I enjoy. What's very important: Acknowledge the fact that you're drained and need a recovery period. Grant yourself that and don't get upset with yourself.

Also: Try to find ways to stay more alive while you are in the office. Something like the pomodoro technique. Anything that slows the drain.
 

James Klymus

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I know you said after work, but if you can get up earlier before your job/internship then try that.

As far as after work focus, it's hard. When I first started I was working a delivery job, and while I was sitting and driving most of the day I would come home exhausted and have almost no willpower to work on anything else. It really does take some willpower, and maybe some caffeine!
 

Xeon

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Put in the least amount of energy needed to get the job done. Don't go beyond.

Do things slow. Because the faster you finish the tasks, the more work will come.

All your energy, as much as possible, should be conserved during your day job so that you can unleash it on your side business.

Keep a very low profile, don't volunteer for stuff, avoid all company events, gossip and meetings if possible.

Load ebooks on your phone to read during your free time, if any. Or tilt the computer screen and adjust your seat in such a way that others can't see what you're doing, resize the windows on your screen and drag those panels to a corner of the screen and hustle there.
 

GuitarManDan

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Definitely a topic I know too well.

Was working at an NYC investment bank with crazy hours / insane culture of people and started learning/planning for how to get out of that and start my own business for probably the last 3-4 months before I quit.

I don't know if this is for everyone, but I was so miserable at this job and knew this was the light at the end of the tunnel that it's all I could really focus on. I'd spend a good three to four hours a night, and much more on the weekends starting my business and learning the marketing/sales sides of things.

This lack of balance made me not enjoy weekends or any "free" time, but it helped me move really fast from point A (miserable in a job that was soul sucking) to point B (strategic plan on when to quit, how much I'd have saved, etc).

I also linked up with some people I knew as friends who had their own businesses as accountability people to help me stay focused and on target.

I started like everyone else on here...

"I can't quit my job"
"I can't leave, I took all of these certifications for work that I'll never use"
"I can't move, my family lives here"

Now that I've been on the other side for about a year and a half now, it's completely night and day. Of course there are unique struggles on this side too, but I'd take this every single time with my freedom instead of being miserable and chained to a desk.
 

Charnell

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Or tilt the computer screen and adjust your seat in such a way that others can't see what you're doing, resize the windows on your screen and drag those panels to a corner of the screen and hustle there.
Don't do that. Company time on company equipment could mean company property.
 
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Kybalion

Kybalion

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Thank You guys for Your responses. I think that the most reasonable thing to do would be to go to sleep at 7.00 pm (19:00) and to wake up at 3.00 am (3:00). That way I could get about 4 productive hours before work. I also ordered some energizing supplements (modafinil, rhodiola, ashwagnda). I will keep You updated, as I think this might be a common challange for those of us starting out.
 

Bekit

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I had a day like that today. I was wondering, "Is this pure, unacceptable laziness? Or is there a deeper reason why I can't seem to bring myself to take action? What's going on, and why can't I just command my brain to snap into it and get stuff done?"

There's something to this.

It seems like there's a continuum, from mild to severe, where a soul-crushing job tends to extinguish your spark, snuff out your curiosity about the world, and reduce you to a hollow shell of yourself.

So I'm wondering... how do we handle ourselves when that's our experience?

One of the ways I've approached this at work is to assert my boundaries, even if it's just in one super-small area where I have a choice. "Sorry, you're not going to cross this line." It's as if I claim one little foothold of "dominion" and stand up for myself if people try to trespass into it.

Is there a way for you to do less work at the internship so that you're less fried when you get home? Is this a pass-fail situation, or is it a thing where you're graded, or is it just "show up and do your time and you're good"? I mean, you're not being paid. So I'm just wondering if it's an opportunity to push back just a little bit.
 
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luniac

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Thank You guys for Your responses. I think that the most reasonable thing to do would be to go to sleep at 7.00 pm (19:00) and to wake up at 3.00 am (3:00). That way I could get about 4 productive hours before work. I also ordered some energizing supplements (modafinil, rhodiola, ashwagnda). I will keep You updated, as I think this might be a common challange for those of us starting out.
yea thats what i did, and it worked, but then i was sleepy at work and got fired for sleeping lol

so maybe drink a coffee if u need to stay up.

But yea doing business work after 8 hour office type job is impossible. Just do it before
 

JDx

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I second the idea of getting up earlier and doing some work before the job. I've been trying this myself for only a week now but it gives me such an energy boost knowing I can be productive for myself first and then go to the 9-5. If the work in the morning gives me enough energy I'll continue after the job, otherwise the next morning.
Perhaps start out with an hour or maybe 2 hours before the job, see how that goes. Sleeping at 7pm seems a bit rough, especially when summer arrives (& sleep is important!)
 

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WinYourself

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Work on your project before you go to your job.
3-4am is when the magic happens.
And bring your laptop to your job so you can work on your project during downtimes and breaks.
 

ygtrhos

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I was exactly like you a year ago, open my personal threads and read them. It even caused some reactions, calling me to be more grateful.

Practicing gratitude on a daily basis helped me huge.

My luck was to be underworked and overpaid. In that case, you have a lot of time to think about your own stuff, trying to figure out who you are. I was grateful for this, and I still am. Remember what your job allows you to do.

Try making good connections at work.

I am working in railway sector, where people are like a huge family. It is the opposite of very stressful sectors, like strategy consulting for example. These people are relaxed, familiar and they are very welcoming. As a result, the job is more enjoyable.

Try doing what you want to do at job.

I was underworked, but I could make an FBA experiment, save money and learn more about railway engineering on the side. For an overworked person, this advice might not be applicable though.

My two cents... :)
 

persistencyiskey

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So from the responses thus far, it seems like the recurring message and answer is to wake up BEFORE work, so that you can spend your productive energy on your side hustle, versus going to work and trying to work on your project after once your soul has been ripped out of you once again day after day.

I think this is excellent insight, now it's just on the person to muster up the drive and discipline to actually wake up earlier and work on their side project consistently until they get to the point where it can become their full-time gig.

Once you can finally get to this point, most then realize how much valuable time they wasted focusing energy and efforts on why they couldn't do it versus just going out and doing it!

Rewiring your beliefs forces your behaviors to change, which leads to new ways of thinking. Action is then the result of those new thoughts and if you repeatedly work on these actions, they turn into habits.

Lets go!
 

El_Johnson23

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I currently work in a soul crushing job M-F from 7:30-4:00PM and work on my business and attend my family when I get home.

Here are some points of my formula:

1. Have a clear and concise notion of your role, duties and deliverables (Refer to your Position Description)
2. Identify the crucial notes and take sole responsibility of those (e.g. reports, evaluations, certifications, meetings etc.)
3. Those that are not crucial, delegate, and have weekly meetings to those you delegate to in order to keep accountability and be on top of things
4. Do not do anything or volunteer for anything that is not in your PD
5. Keep your supervisor updated with a weekly email about your accomplishments, results and projects you're working on (or those delegated)
6. Keep distractions at a minimum (do not attend anybody or anything without an appointment, previous notification, and/or clear breakdown of desired tasks and objectives; add friction to any work others want to put or delegate to you (If someone adds an additional workload on you due to their actions or innactions, let them know and promote consequences for such)
7. Talk casually to people for about 5min; about their day, how things are going, etc. (relieves tension and makes you seem like you don't hate your existence for being there)
8. Plan your work out on a monthly, weekly and daily schedule. This way you think less and deplete less energy throughout the day
9. Try to mold or adapt the work you do into something somewhat pleasant (e.g. music or podcasts when doing reports)
10. Have a strict end-time for meetings (e.g. I have until 10:30, due to an appointment I have at that time)
11. Work on your personal projects when your direct attention is not required or during down time

These are some of the points that come to mind. Expect some resistance at first, but then like any behavioral change people will get the message. This also has the side effect of people respecting your time much more.
 
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Kybalion

Kybalion

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Oct 5, 2018
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I currently work in a soul crushing job M-F from 7:30-4:00PM and work on my business and attend my family when I get home.

Here are some points of my formula:

1. Have a clear and concise notion of your role, duties and deliverables (Refer to your Position Description)
2. Identify the crucial notes and take sole responsibility of those (e.g. reports, evaluations, certifications, meetings etc.)
3. Those that are not crucial, delegate, and have weekly meetings to those you delegate to in order to keep accountability and be on top of things
4. Do not do anything or volunteer for anything that is not in your PD
5. Keep your supervisor updated with a weekly email about your accomplishments, results and projects you're working on (or those delegated)
6. Keep distractions at a minimum (do not attend anybody or anything without an appointment, previous notification, and/or clear breakdown of desired tasks and objectives; add friction to any work others want to put or delegate to you (If someone adds an additional workload on you due to their actions or innactions, let them know and promote consequences for such)
7. Talk casually to people for about 5min; about their day, how things are going, etc. (relieves tension and makes you seem like you don't hate your existence for being there)
8. Plan your work out on a monthly, weekly and daily schedule. This way you think less and deplete less energy throughout the day
9. Try to mold or adapt the work you do into something somewhat pleasant (e.g. music or podcasts when doing reports)
10. Have a strict end-time for meetings (e.g. I have until 10:30, due to an appointment I have at that time)
11. Work on your personal projects when your direct attention is not required or during down time

These are some of the points that come to mind. Expect some resistance at first, but then like any behavioral change people will get the message. This also has the side effect of people respecting your time much more.
Thanks for Your input! Very valuable insights indeed. The focal point of Your formula is on the conservation of energy in the workplace and will most likely come in handy at some point in my life (or someone else's, whoever reads this). Although not much of this is applicable in my situation right now, I can totally see, how this is necessary for people at higher positions.
 
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Kybalion

Kybalion

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And just a quick update on the first day of waking up at 3:00 am.

Getting stuff done. I feel great - focused and energized. At least for now :D (might feel dead in the evening)

Since I previously was waking up at 5:00 am the jump to 3:00 am is not that bad.

Let's see how it goes in the long term tho. But for now, I am hyped about this!

I will keep going like this for as long as it makes sense and keep Ya'll updated, just in case somebody else is looking for the solution of this energy/focus problem. For now, the consensus seems to be :
1) Conserve energy during the workday keep in as much soul as possible.
2) Go to sleep early
3) Wake up early
4) After waking up put Your reinvigorated a$$ to work!

Let's break free guys!
 

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