This’ll probably be lengthy lol
A little over 1.5 months ago, my life did a complete 360°. From being at home almost every day getting out of bed at noon to suddenly being thrust into a 9-5 job at least 4 days a week was a real shock for me. After a few weeks of consideration, it’s obvious things are going to be changing for me once again and I’m ready to close this (very short) chapter of my life. And although it had it’s ups and downs, there are so many things I learned throughout this process. They may seem obvious to many of you but are very new concepts to me! So although I don’t feel “qualified” to write an article about this since it’s been less than a few months, here are 11 things that change (at least for me) when you go from a couch potato to a workaholic.
1. Your REAL priorities show.
I thought I knew what was most important to me and what least important, until I needed to allocate time and energy to them. Certain things just don’t seem to matter as much as they used to. I guess it’s a glass half empty/full sort of situation depending on what it is but I’ll use a negative example for this one. My daily devotion time has been pushed down my priority list. It never happened intentionally, but coming home exhausted with so many things to do made it really difficult and I would keep falling asleep before I could finish reading my bible and praying. Unfortunately I’m still trying to get back into that habit..
2. You see things in a different light
On the plus side though, there’s this. Again, a glass half empty/full situation but I’ll use a positive example this time and say that certain problems don’t seem to be so big anymore. When I first started I would complain all the time and dread every morning, but now I’ve grown used to it. And I have so much to do and so much to think about now! So why use that energy up on worrying and negative thinking? Certain things just seem easier to face now or not that much of a big deal as they used to be. And even then, all the things I worry about seem tiny in comparison to someone else’s, and absolutely microscopic in His eyes.
3. You learn to manage your time better
Time is really limited now. Apart from the actual job, there’s also the daily commute and preparation for the grind which takes a chunk of my time and other responsibilities on top. When does it ever end?! I’m in the process of learning that I need to allocate time to certain tasks. If I don’t get things done when I have the opportunity to, I’ll never get them done or I’ll have to suffer the consequences later – whether that’s letting someone down or staying up all night to complete a list of things and feeling the effects of sleep deprivation later that day.. I need to do it now or never!
4. You feel more productive and get more things done
Although it does feel never ending, it feels much more satisfying as well. I used to complete a few things each day and count them as a lot, but now I can do so many more tasks in such a smaller timeframe. My focus has improved so much and it’s such a rewarding feeling! Not only that, but once you start a “productive streak” it becomes harder to stop, which is why the next point is so important.
5. You learn to give yourself breaks
Like, unwind because you are SO tired. I’ve figured out that if I don’t give myself a break once in a while, I will snap. I’ll have a mental break down and become emotionally unstable, causing me to hate everything and everyone. The key here is to decide when breaks are appropriate – you obviously wouldn’t take one if you just started on something or have a billion things to do by tomorrow and haven’t started! There are obviously also different kind of breaks (not to mention holidays as well!). The ones you take that last maybe 10, 15 minutes between tasks.. And the ones where you go into airplane mode and just destroy your brain with Netflix for at least a few hours. Both types of breaks are necessary (unfortunately I keep having to learn this the hard way) but long ones are more of a luxury and need more planning ahead. Both are important though because they give your brain and body time to recharge!
6. You learn to budget? Sort of?
Prior to this job I would leech off my parents for money (apart from when I got some from relatives during holidays, hehe), but now I’ve gradually begun to support myself by paying for things that my parents used to – my mobile phone bill, transport, spending money, etc. I’ve realised how much money I actually do spend and boy, it’s a lot more than I initially thought. It sucks seeing the numbers degrade so quickly after receiving a paycheck, but the feeling of independence and benefiting my parents is well worth it.
My spending attitude has also changed. I used to really be a “quantity over quality” type of person and just splurge on as many things I could get with the smallest amount of money, but now that it’s money I’ve earned, I’m a little more stingy about what I buy and how long it’ll last me. That isn’t to say that I’ve reduced how much I spend (honestly may have increased), but I spend a lot more time considering what I want and I feel a lot more satisfaction knowing that I worked for something, as opposed to feeling guilty spending money that wasn’t mine. On another note, it’s made it easier for me to throw out things I don’t need which is a big achievement for me! I’m also in the process of learning how much to save, how much I can spend and how much goes into everything else I need for the week. I finally feel like I’m becoming an adult!
7. The grass is always greener on the other side
I say this because prior to the current job I hold (which is as an assistant childcare educator), I was actually offered a housekeeping job. I was pretty set on it until I did a little bit of research and went to the first group meeting. I found it was harder than I thought and would most likely hate it. I thought to myself “Gee, I’d rather to childcare than this”. But now that I am, an office job seems more appealing to me, which is funny because that was something that seemed really unattractive to me back in high school. I need to learn to appreciate what I have before it’s gone! Though the good thing is that being pushed like this means I’ll keep going forward until I reach a place I want to be. It’s motivation for me to reach my goals. As you may or may not know, after I graduated high school I wandered around in different areas of study not knowing what I wanted. It’s taken me maybe ~3.5 years but I’m pretty determined on what I want to do now (and it isn’t this). That’s not to say those dreams will forever remain the same, but at least I know which direction I want to go in and I’m striving harder now to reach that goal.
8. You learn to deal with people
God made everyone unique and although that’s really great, unfortunately that means we have our differences as well. Sometimes I just don’t understand certain people no matter how hard I try, and whatever I say or do is useless in improving a situation at all. Eventually, I’ll just learn to deal with these negative people and not let them get to me – I guess I’ll develop a “thick skin” one day. I’m not able to make decisions for people, however I can make the decision of whether or not this situation is worth my time and energy (sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing at all, right?). But if I’ve heard you out, tried to understand your point of view and you refuse to listen to mine or continue to treat me like an idiot… Well then I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
9. Your body takes a beating
I used to think I was in relatively okay shape until now. Just because my lifestyle changed, it doesn’t mean my body followed right along. I feel exhausted after every single day and I’m ready to collapse into bed before my set bed time. I also get super cranky about everything when it’s almost time to sleep because I have absolutely no energy left. I probably fall asleep within 5 minutes of getting into bed! My sleeping pattern also did a complete turn around. I used to be a night owl, being able to pull all-nighters and sleep in until 2 p.m., but now I can manage to wake up before my alarm. I’m also not eating right which isn’t helping in the slightest. All this extra pressure has been terrible for my immune system. In fact, the only reason I’m writing this post now is because I’m at home per doctor’s command. I’ve been hit with nature’s worst from overclocking my body and not taking good enough care of it.. Which started with sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose (Should have heeded the warnings but I kept pushing through) to a high fever, aching pains, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea..Totally fun.Having kids cough and sneeze on me all day really didn’t help either.
10. You learn how much you can handle
Pretty much reiterating my previous point – if there’s too much on your plate, don’t take seconds before you finish what’s on there. You may feel obliged to take on certain tasks and responsibilities because it’s in your nature, but make sure you do not over estimate how much you can do. Just make sure you’re honest about this. I really dislike when people don’t want to do something and they come up with silly excuses to try and get away with it. If you’re feeling stressed or you’re too busy, just say so! Anything else just makes you seem lazy or incompetent, especially when there are easy work-arounds available. In a way I guess this is why I admire people who can do so much at a time. It must be by the grace of God that they’re managing, because sometimes I feel like I hardly do enough and I’m already complaining about the workload!
11. You can’t please everyone
Probably the most important thing on here. No matter how much you do and how much effort you put into something, there will always be someone who is unsatisfied with your results. This is because people rarely see what goes on behind the scenes – just what’s presented to them at face value. You might put blood, sweat and tears into something just for someone to say “That’s it?” to all your hard work and effort. No one really knows or understands the things that go into a project except the person undertaking it and God. And unfortunately, even our best does not please sometimes. Don’t let it get you down! While you may feel unappreciated, God does see our heart and all our hard work, and will reward us accordingly. His view is what’s most important 🙂
And there’s my 11 things. I applaud you if you read through all this as it is definitely one of my longer posts. Did I get anything wrong? Or is there something I’ve missed? Please do let me know!
Hope the rest of your week is great!