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B087: How to bring the joy back to your work

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Not feeling the joy in your work these days? Lord knows, it’s time to bring it back. If it feels like you’ve been slogged through a mountain of to-do’s and your weekly tasks are starting to lose their initial lackluster and shine, I hope today’s episode sparks something new for you.

Earlier this week, I spoke with India Jackson all about how to tell your brand story. And one point she raised was that “people can’t see you if you’re not ready to be seen,” meaning you could do all the work in the world to craft the perfect marketing message but if you’re not ready mentally to truly put yourself out there and be visible… it’s all for nothing. 

And I think part of that mindset shift is all about shaking things up. Focus on three things to bring the joy back into your work and then, you’ll be ready:

  • plan your week ahead
  • reflect and celebrate
  • bring back that fizzy, electric feeling

Here’s how to bring the joy back to your work – 3 things to consider:

1. Plan your week ahead

Every Monday morning, the very first thing blocked off in my work calendar is to make a hot cup of coffee, shut off the world for an hour, pull out my day planner and plan the week ahead. I use Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map Planner, (PROMO CODE: simplifiers for $5 off – click here to BUY!) which asks 7 simple questions each week. It’s a weekly ritual that I look forward to instead of diving straight into putting out fires in my email or answering Slack messages with my team. Questions like:

    1. What is going really well in your life right now?
    2. What’s not working? Don’t hold back!
    3. Who are you grateful for and why?
    4. What do you need to say or ask for… and from whom?
    5. What do you declare is true this week?

I highly recommend having a system like this so you kick the week off on the right foot. All it takes is one hour a week, first thing on a Monday morning as soon as you walk into your office. When I journal like this, I’m guided back to my joy. I remember why I love to do the work that I get to do with you guys. I remember who I am, deep down inside. It’s simple, it’s delicious and it brings me back to center. 

2. Reflect and celebrate

You’ve heard the old adage… “regret lives in the past, worry lives in the future… so be here now!” Well, easier said than done, eh?! For me, in order for me to stay present in the here and now, I must give myself a little time each week to reflect and celebrate how far I’ve come. Even if it’s just for a split second, carve out a little time (start with 5 minutes!) to look back. This could be part of your Monday morning writing ritual. Or you could simply reflect on how this last month, quarter or year has gone. Sure, you’ve had a few blunders… haven’t we all!!?! But I really want you to hit the pause button for a hot second and take stock of all the amazing triumphs you’ve had as well. 

    1. TIP: If your mind is drawing a blank, grab your calendar and flick through it. It’s likely you’ve totally forgotten about that huge thing that happened 6 months ago that had you smiling from ear to ear. One way that helps my “goldfish brain” remember is by circling my “Big Day Mary” days in my monthly calendar and then adding them up. A “Big Day Mary” day was when I felt true joy (either big or small), so I can remember what I did that day to make it happen. When you take stock like this, you’re more likely to see the patterns to replicate this feeling in the future. For example, working out, taking a walk in nature, speaking onstage, coaching clients, and carving out time to have lunch with friends and clients equals “Big Day Mary” material, 100%.

3. Bring back that fizzy, electric feeling

I’m talking about that new romance, warm, squishy, “gimme all of that and more” feeling you get when you’re totally in the flow. If it’s been a million years since you’ve felt that feeling, before you hit the pause button on this episode, I have some good news for you. What if I told you that it’s possible to feel this today? As in, in the next hour of your life? Would you try out a little experiment with me? Okay, here goes…

    1. TIP: Joy comes when you share your love with someone else. Anyone. It doesn’t matter. It could be with a family member, a dear friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time, a long lost client you absolutely adore… and yes, it could actually be with your dog. As soon as this episode is finished, I want you to jot down 10 people who when you think of them, you can’t help but smile. Someone you miss. Someone you have a spark with. Maybe someone you’d love to reconnect with. Write down their names and then circle your top three. The ones that if you could make contact with them today, your heart would skip a beat (in a good way). 
    2. Okay, here comes the fun part. I want you to write a quick letter to them and send it. Don’t overthink this… no, you don’t need to go out and buy new stationary at Target! Just simply write a postcard or send a quick private message online and say this, “Hey ______, you just popped in my mind. Sending you a mountain of love right now. What’s new in your world?” It’ll take you 7 minutes to send three messages, guaranteed. And while you do it, I promise you’ll feel that fizzy, electric feeling of joy in no time flat.

One final whisper

If you’ve been in a funk for a long time, it might seem like joy is a target that is waaaay, far away from your grasp. Joy is for other people, not you and certainly not now. This busy season (or dry patch) is certainly not the place where you can joy in your work.

And I just want to plant this seed in your heart…

What if it isn’t?

What if the funk that came in, sat down and squatted right in the middle of your reality has overstayed his welcome? 

What if it’s time to shake it off and shake yourself free?

Joy isn’t a destination. It’s a gift that is readily available for you in the 1000 daily, imperfect choices you make today. And if you live in a grey, cold, wet (and mostly miserable) place like I do, trust me, I know it’s sometimes hard to spot on the gloomiest of days. But it’s there. With you, right now.

So, shake it off. 

Go drink a giant glass of cold, crisp, refreshing water right now.

Decide to try something different today and carve out a little bit of time to plan your week ahead. Take time to reflect and celebrate. Hell, draw the blinds, crank up the music, and have a personal dance party in your PJs. No one is watching except your dog. And he thinks you’ve got some pretty cool dance moves!

 It’s time to bring back that fizzy, electric feeling because you deserve it. The world is ready to see you shine BRIGHT. It’s time to bring the joy back into your work.

You can do this, I believe in you.

It’s time to SIMPLIFY.

If this thought of the day inspired you…

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Thank you!

Show credits: Suzen Marie, our Podcast Editor. Jeffrey Lynn, our Video Editor. Lyden Yardley, our Show Notes Editor, and Manminder Athwal, our Blogger. Aubri Nowowiejski, Chris Justice and George Mills, our advisory board. And I’m your host, Mary Baird-Wilcock. Thank you so much for joining us.

As always friends, keep things simple.

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