The workweek can become grinding for even the hardest workers.
It’s at its worst when our days become indistinguishable from one another. If you just repeat the same routine every day in your work, you’ll get there sooner rather than later. The boredom of repetition is not good for active minds. You’ll find yourself wanting more, and you’ll (perhaps wrongly) think your work is the problem.
The problem is how you’re approaching your workweeks.
The solution? Take micro-adventures that create memorable experiences – preferably a couple per week.
Instead of going straight home after work, find ways to negotiate an experience of newness into that gap of twilight time between work and dinner/shower/bedtime.
For me today, that experience was exploring a greenway trail buried in the woods not 15 minutes away from my office. When I was out in those woods watching the sun go down, I stepped out of my routine work mindset and became more aware of my surroundings and more aware of the other parts of my personality (not just the ones I switch on for work).
I stepped into a different world entirely when I walked out into a brushy field and saw a group of deer grazing. It was just like being back on my family’s farm one state away. The whole drive home I was in a different state of mind from the rushed mindset of the workday.
What’s remarkable is that it didn’t feel like the end of a workday. I didn’t feel the same weight. Because I took the initiative to have a different experience than I normally have on a workday (a micro-adventure in the woods), I got to experience the workday differently.
There are plenty of other ways to have non-work micro-adventures during the workweek.
Last night I went swing dancing in a new part of town and had a book discussion with friends. Tomorrow I’m going to another book club. Friday I’m hosting a movie night.
You might want to take a trip to the park, or volunteer at a dog shelter, or go to a meetup, or go to a museum you’ve been meaning to check out, or play soccer with friends. Find what suits you. Try things you don’t normally do, and try to make them things that are potentially meaningful, relationship-building, or growthful for you.
But don’t tell me there isn’t time. You have 2-3 hours between the end of work and the beginning of bedtime to go explore the big world out there. Instead of spending it in traffic, or on the couch, or in unproductive email-checking, go see and do something new.