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can't find my focus at work.


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Not sure where a post like this goes, so I'll send it here. It's mainly a think-out-loud type of post.

 

I have a great job at a great company. But for the last year or more, I've been unfocused and antsy. I don't know if working for a company and developing a career for myself is my path anymore, but I don't know what to do about it. I feel like I should be writing a novel or children's books, but to even see myself type that makes me feel naive and it's a foolish risk.

 

It's crazy, with everyone losing their jobs, all I really want is to be home cultivating a garden, taking care of backyard farm animals, cooking wholesome dinners, and beginning our family. None of these things have I accomplished yet. But thing is, my productivity at a desk is so low, I have to stay longer to make up for it. I'm coming home between 6:30-8:00. No time to do much after work, and the weekends just slip away in a blink enjoying time with my fiance. I see everyone around me plugging away. I never see anyone surfing websites or forums. I don't know if I'm able to work 8 hours straight like that. My job also involves field work where I'm in forests and wetlands, but even that is unsatisfying. All I want is to get back to the office whenever I'm sent out - I miss my fiance too much, and at least at a desk we can keep a chat window open.

 

Ugh, what is this, and how can I function better? Is this the famous Adult ADD? Am I a wage slave? I'm paid modestly well, that's not what I mean. I mean it in the sense that I can't get out of this box, I'm stuck being a worker bee or suffer the consequences.

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I've found myself in this vicious cycle before--at work all you can think about is all of the stuff you want to do at home, then you get home and realize you didn't get as much done at work as you needed to, so you wind up doing stuff to get caught up (or in your case, staying at the office late).

 

I'd start taking baby steps toward increasing your productivity. A couple of things I've done allow me to leave work at work at the end of the day. First, even though it can be incredibly annoying and probably sounds like something your grandma would tell you to do, make a to-do list of all the things you need to get done at work that week, organized by day and by priority. If you haven't tried this yet, you might be surprised at how much this helps--for me, actually having a tangible representation of what I haven't done yet is a motivation to get it done.....

 

Second thing, and I still do this once every couple of weeks, write down what you spend your time on during the day. When I first started at my job, I thought I was incredibly busy all the time and could never get caught up. Somebody suggested to me that I write down what I do during the day and how long it takes. When all was said and done, I was wasting colossal chunks of time on stuff I didn't even think about (coffee breaks were much longer in reality than I thought they were, little chit chat sessions with co-workers add up at the end of the day...) and that's just the stuff I didn't think about. I already knew I was wasting time checking e-mail, putzing on the web, etc.

 

I think you'll be surprised at how much time you're spending at the office on trivial BS that you could be spending at home doing the things you really want to be doing. It won't take very many really productive work days for you to see the positive rewards at home, and you'll be hooked. The other upside of this is that, the more productive your force yourself to be, the better you're going to feel about what you're accomplishing at your job--and the better you feel about what you're accomplishing, the more you'll WANT to be productive.

 

Break the cycle!! You can do it!

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I don't really have much solid advice but considering you said you would love to be doing something more inspiring (growing the garden, writing kids books) I think you should take time out on weekends and from any spare time to do such things. It'll feel great to accomplish a children's novel or a short story, to grow a small veggie patch on weekends.

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When you are employed in the right career for you, it is your primary focus. While you are at work, that is all that matters to you. When I am home, my family and pets are my focus, but at work, I have tunnel vision! I love what I do and have no desire to surf the web or chat or any of that stupid stuff. I love my work and I am good at it! Maybe it's time for you to work on those children's books on weekends. We get out of life what we put into it.

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