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Here's What Happened When I Flipped My Way Through the Work Week

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Here's What Happened When I Flipped My Way Through the Work Week

I was super inspired by the idea of Serenflipity cards since the first time I heard about them. While I’m a person who loves to try new things, I find myself stuck in ruts from time to time. Sometimes, my creativity suffers; other times, I find myself caught up in a comfortable routine and naturally stop pushing myself to grow. 

Though I’m nearly two years into my journey as a small business owner and try to take advantage of my freedom I have to design my life each day, the ability to work from anywhere can be oddly paralyzing — both locally and globally. In an effort to add some pizazz back into my daily patterns, I decided to put my deck to the test by flipping a new card each day of the work week. Here’s how it went.

Day 1:Cancel as much on your calendar as you can. Then, sneak out and say YES to at least one random thing that comes your way.

This card couldn’t have come at a more perfect time; I’ve been feeling super stressed and in need of downtime, something I'm still learning to treat myself to. While I couldn’t cancel my morning client calls, I shuffled around some of my project work and took the afternoon off of work. A friend stopped by and we ended up catching up for hours over cocktails on my back patio. I laughed so hard my abs hurt, and went to bed with a big smile on my face that night instead of stressing about the next day. Carving out time to have fun with friends is important, and I need to make myself more available to do it!

Day 2: "Identify a big fear and see if you can take one action to confront it.

One of my biggest fears is that something will happen to someone I love who lives far away. I moved to California almost a decade ago, but still feel guilty about missing out on precious time with my family and friends on the east coast. Though I can’t control what might happen to someone I care about or always visit on a whim, I can definitely connect with them in meaningful ways. Today, I called my Mom and Dad and caught up with two close friends over text. Just taking the time to check in on each person and hear about what's been happening in their lives made me feel really good.

Day 3:Ask a stranger for a mantra and live by it for a day.”

I work from coffee shops often and usually chat with people I don’t know during the course of a day. Today, I decided to ask the barista for her mantra, which was “we are what we repeatedly do.” Though I’d heard this before, I found that having a reason to actually apply forced me to put it into practice and think about each action I took.  It's fascinating how small things that can subtly transform into habits have the ability to shape who we are and how we live. Little things can define us, so we should consider them carefully.

Day 4: “Wear something unexpected or outside of your usual style today, whether it’s an accessory or a full ensemble.”

This card was so much fun for me! I recently bought a pair of futuristic-looking, all white sneakers from an Aldo shoe sale but felt self-conscious about wearing them as they’re pretty far outside of my standard style. Today, I whipped them out proudly. I got a couple of compliments and a couple of questions (my neighbor thought they looked like space shoes!) but wore them all afternoon around San Francisco. I felt like I was drawing attention to myself, which was uncomfortable, but it felt good to try something new and different. Why not?

Day 5:Keep a smile on your face all day long. Take note of how people respond and how this makes you feel."

I actually smiled when I flipped this card (how fitting!) because I've been focused on being more joyful and genuinely positive for a few years. This card reminded me that smiling often comes from a place of gratitude — and that finding things to feel happy about makes it easier to connect with other people in a truly authentic way. Though this card is a perfect nudge to uncover even more positive stuff, it also reminded me that it's not always easy for people to see what's great about themselves or their lives. While staying upbeat per usual, I found that I felt extra patient with others, noting that struggles aren't always visible on the surface. I also felt extra lucky that I have so much to smile about!

Though I can’t tie a transformational moment or specific life change to my experiment using the cards this week, I feel refreshed and inspired after having tackled a mini-challenge during each work day. I started to really look forward to my flip each morning and trying to accomplish whatever the card said. Small shifts can inspire big waves, and sometimes all it takes is a sentence to get started.


About the Author

Krista Gray is a web producer and freelance writer who lives in San Francisco. When she's not working with clients through her company GoldSquare, she loves reading, traveling and learning new things.

Connect with Krista: Instagram, Twitter, goldsquare.co
 

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 3 Qs to Ask Yourself When You've Fallen Out of Love With Your Job

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3 Qs to Ask Yourself When You've Fallen Out of Love With Your Job

Feeling "over it" at work? Regardless of the reason you took your job, it’s super normal that the initial shine wears off over time. For many of us, work can start to feel like a relationship once the “honeymoon” period is over and you get to know the real characteristics of what you’ve aligned yourself with! 

Thankfully, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. True honesty and genuine trust can come to light once you’re in deeper, helping you re-kindle the love you have for your company, role or work. Not sure how to draw out the good stuff when you're feeling frustrated or uninspired? Here are three key things you can think about to get started.
 

What has your company done (or not done) in the last year?

Is it mostly positive?

It’s natural to turn inward when you think about professional happiness, but before you start thinking about your own performance, consider what your company has accomplished in the time you’ve been there. Reflect on some of the moments when the organization has really shined, as well as those when it struggled. Has your company done something in the last six months that helped it stand out as a leader? Has the organization taken a brave stance that aligns with your values? By taking stock of the situation, you might be able to more clearly see what you have to be proud about.  

On the other hand, think about whether your company has disappointed you in certain areas over the last year. These might be things like providing an environment with psychological safety, mentorship opportunities, or camaraderie that leaves you feeling excited about how you're contributing to the cause or mission each day. If you find that the negatives outweigh positives, you’ll know you have good reason to consider a new job, approach or company.  
 

Can you flip your perspective?

Try helping someone who's new and still sees the magic.

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Yes, hiring and supervising interns or new employees can take up your time and feel like a major energy drain—but these new people also have an interesting perspective: they’re still in the honeymoon phase with your organization, and are learning its culture. Instead of feeling frustrated, offer to help someone learn the ropes. This might be as simple as taking them to lunch, or even offering to give them a short primer before an important meeting you’re leading. 

Not only will the person you’re helping appreciate the kindness you’re extending, but by helping someone, you may actually begin to create the culture you noticed when you first started.  
 

What have you accomplished?

Why does it matter?

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No matter how awesome the mission, humans get stuck in the drudgery of daily work. To hone in on what sets you apart, make a master list of your accomplishments. You’ll see just how prolific you’ve been during your time at work! If you’ve been at it for months or years, you might even be surprised to see just how much good work you’ve created during that time.

This exercise is a good way to remind yourself that you’ve made great progress, and it can inspire you to keep going — even if things seem like they don’t matter or feel too tough along the way.  

Remember this: Though you might never get all the back to feeling you had when you first fell in love with your work, you can achieve a more mature and wise type of love—one that has a deeper understanding of what it means to persevere, and to expand your skillset while delivering value each and every day.


About the Author

Katie Crank is an attorney, social worker, and writer. She helps communities address decarceration, trauma, and the paths that lead women to justice system involvement. Katie also writes on the topics of health, productivity, and dog foster & adoption.

Connect with Katie: Linkedin, Instagram, Contently, Medium

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