Have you confused your job with your work? It's easy to do exactly that, and then become frustrated because your daily tasks aren't making any progress toward your deeper purpose.
Confusing concept? Perhaps an example will help provide clarity:
I earn money by wrangling spreadsheets, database tinkering, and slinging papers from 8:30-5.
My real work is currently supporting my wife as she finishes up her nursing degree. This includes chauffeuring her to and from classes, taking over most of the cooking (thank you 4 Hour Chef!), and generally helping out whenever I can so that my wife can focus on school.
This role includes providing financial support. My earning a paycheck is a vital part of my overall work. However, my current job is not my ultimate goal; it is merely a means to an end. (This doesn't mean that I am not doing my best work while there or trying to find a better position.)
It only recently occurred to me that I had been approaching my work backward. I had been growing increasingly frustrated with my job: it seemed to only be getting in the way of doing anything meaningful. That paycheck was becoming little reward for the time that I spent there. I dreaded going to work in the morning and was stressed in the evenings.
Then I realized that it was all in my mindset. The job isn't my purpose, my end goal. It is merely a means to an end. It really is nothing more than some experience and a paycheck. And once I started approaching it as such, work magically became much better. Not only was it less stressful and began to mentally stay at the office, but I became more productive.
Because I am now working more efficiently I have more free time. And that free time allows me to work toward my current real work - whether that means planning dates, putting together next week's meal plan and shopping list, or hunting for my next job after she graduates and we move.
What Is Your Real Job?
It's amazing how much of a difference this simple perspective change made in my daily life.
If you're frustrated with some aspect of your life (such as your job) perhaps you've lost sight of your real work. Re-focusing on that work will allow your priorities to become clearer and your life will re-align.
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