Rather be doing something else?
Let’s face it – we all encounter this at some point in our work, no matter how fulfilling we may find it at times. When our minds wander to other things we’d rather be doing, it may be due to burnout as I talked about in this previous post.
But other times it may be due to unresolved desire to pursue something else.
I struggled with this for years, working a day job in government finance and accounting, while my creative juices were getting little attention. I would find ways to accommodate my creativity in designing reports, but that wasn’t enough.
I have always been fascinated by music, and played piano since 4th grade and french horn since 5th grade, adding guitar in my teens and buying my first of several electronic keyboards. As new technology emerged around digital recording, I resolved to teach myself how to record, mix and master music on my PC (not a cheap hobby through the 90’s and into the new millenium!).
Later on, I also started a small record label and have released a total 7 records, the most recent one on vinyl – who knew we’d come full circle back to vinyl?
But, I digress – we are talking about wealth and work and the occasional pull we feel to do something else.
This is where hobbies, or avocations, come in (from the Latin avocare – “call away”). When we get the feeling we’d rather be doing something else, we are being “called away” from our vocation or work to think about something else. When this happens it is may be due to some aspect of ourselves that is not receiving the attention it deserves.
Instead of fighting this urge to do something else, it is important to pause for a moment and observe what it is we would rather be doing. What is the call or pull that you are sensing? This is a critical step – it may identify a new and distinct calling on your life, or it might identify a part of you that you have been neglecting.
Once we identify what is pulling at or calling us, it is important to schedule time to give it our full attention, even if it is only for half an hour. It is important to actually schedule it, block out the time for it, and commit to doing it as scheduled.
The importance of scheduling is, once scheduled, the distraction of rather doing something else is diminished or even disappears. This won’t work long term if you neglect to address it as scheduled.
The worst thing you can do is attempt to ignore and push through. You only end up wasting energy fighting yourself, and both you and your work suffer.