How to dig yourself out of a work slump

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Hello, it’s been a while! Right now I’ll talk about one aspect of my life from which I derive my active income – being a lawyer.  In the last year, I earned mostly active income and this constituted 98% of my total income that year.  Despite making my first million about a month ago, I am still in no position to retire yet.  This is because my 2% passive income isn’t enough to fund my yearly expenses yet.

Until I attain total financial independence, where my passive income covers all of my living expenses, I patiently do my work as a lawyer and work for active income. This isn’t as bad as it sounds (what I tell myself on tough days haha!).  Kidding aside, I love being a lawyer.  I enjoy writing and working through the tough legal issues and finding the legally justifiable but equitable solution to problems.

I’ve been very busy with work. I had to think my way around a complicated legal question. I was at the point of figuratively pulling my hair out haha! At the end, after long stretches of days poring over the 1.5 feet- thick case file and researching jurisprudence written in highfalutin English, the answer came to me. There’s no real answer really. In law, the most difficult questions stem from cases where there are no precedents yet. Simply, those cases where the “rule” hasn’t been established yet, which present a novel issue.

This case has been quite a challenge but it really pulled me out of a rut. Admittedly, I’ve been quite restless lately because work tends to be monotonous at times. That’s quite expected when you stay for a certain length of time within a certain company or organization, isn’t it?  One establishes a rhythm and a routine.  This can be both an advantage and a setback, I guess.  On this note, let me share what I do to beat the work slump / monotony:

Maintain a hobby that is unrelated to work.

On some days, I’m on autopilot and just speedily do the work. Other times I feel the monotony creep in, such that no matter what I do, my brain just won’t work and productivity falls. I have found that having a hobby on my days off helps to shift things around.

A hobby that is unrelated to your work is desirable because it puts inactive portions of your brain to good use. Writing on this blog stirs my creativity and feeds my passion for finance. Writing creatively for a blog allows me the opportunity to bring descriptive words into my writing. You just can’t do that with legalese – where precision of language is key.

Laugher is the best medicine.

On my days off I take a brain break.  I like watching light comedy TV series such as 2 Broke Girls, Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and The Mindy Project. Romantic comedy such as Awkward is also entertaining.

Generally, anything that makes me laugh takes the edge off. By the time Monday rolls around, I’m in a better mood and I have a lighter heart. You’re going to need a lot of that in the legal world where you have to worry about other people’s legal troubles.

Exercise gives you endorphins!

Going regularly to the gym (or being obligated to go there because you bought a membership) or even just working out at home helps you sweat out those lactic acids, which you accumulate sitting at the office for majority of the day. When I regularly work out, I notice feeling exhilarated and having so much energy the next day.

Look at something green.

Looking at something green or blue colored objects tend to relax the eyes. If I’m at the office and need a quick change, I just gaze at my window outside. It’s a quick remedy, which I find somewhat helps.

Being at a job I love, I find myself fortunate.  I can only emphasize with others who feel stuck in a job they hate. The monotony ebbs and flows but with the foregoing tips, I hope you can fight the work slump as well.

How do you deal with work monotony?

xoxo,
20 something lawyer

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