By Jess Ekstrom, Guest Blogger
We always separate our work from our play. Ever since I was a kid, I was programmed to think our jobs are not supposed to be fun. “Fun” is for the weekend. So my whole life I had the mentality to get through the week, and wait for Friday to come along.
But once I started my company, Headbands of Hope, I realized that work doesn’t have to feel like work. Sometimes on weekends, I would look forward to Mondays because that meant it was “socially acceptable” to work on my business. I stopped mentally telling myself that only weekends and vacations were opportunities to enjoy life. You can love your job and love what you do.
Think about how many hours of your life will be spent working. Don’t you want to enjoy them? I want to get from life, not just get through it. Here are some tips on how to enjoy Monday through Friday:
Believe in the mission of the company you work for (or start your own). When you can connect the work you’re doing to something greater, work doesn’t have to feel like work. When I was in college, I interned at a wish-granting organization for kids with life-threatening illnesses. I did a lot of the behind-the-scenes work like filling medical forms, fundraising, and bookkeeping. But it was the first time in my life where it didn’t really matter what I was doing, but rather why I was doing it. Create a career where you can lean on your “why.”
Surround yourself with people who make you better. You may have heard the saying that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Make time during the week for the people who inspire you and make you better. It could be your co-workers, friends, or even mentors outside of work. I joined an entrepreneur co-working space so I could surround myself with like minded people who inspire me. Don’t wait until the weekend to spend time with people who make you better.
Don’t get stuck in a routine. On one hand, some sort of routine or schedule can be good for productivity. But on the other hand, doing the same thing Monday through Friday can get boring and make you resent work. Maybe on Wednesday nights you go to yoga or on Monday nights you cook dinner with your friends. Mixing it up during the week can prevent you from feeling like you’re just going through the motions.
Let's chat! What tips would you add to Jess' great list of ways to enjoy the week? Share them with us here!
Jess is the founder and CEO of her college startup, Headbands of Hope. For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to fund childhood cancer research. She loves speaking on college campuses through CAMPUSPEAK and has recently launched her first book, The Freshman Fabulous: The Girl's Guide to College. When she's not working or speaking, she enjoys trying new foods, doing crossfit, writing (especially for IATG!), taking improv classes, being outside, and helping others find their path to help the world.
image via Forbes.com