In today's audio postcard I'm talking about how to take the first steps to escape your work zombie lifestyle.
Today's question: What is the first thing you are going to do to add play and fun back into your daily life?
Leave a comment and share your ideas!
Rather read than listen?
Today I want to follow up on an audio postcard from earlier this year - #3 The Work Zombie Lifestyle. If you haven’t heard it yet and you’re curious about what the heck a work zombie lifestyle is, head over to the podcast page at worklifeuprising.com to listen.
The reason I thought I’d do a follow up is because I heard from a listener last week. She enjoyed it and it resonated with her but she was hoping for some suggestions. And my guess is, that you might be looking for the very same thing. And I don’t want to leave anyone hanging, so this audio postcard is dedicated to Katie and anyone else who may have listened and thought, “Yep, that’s me. But what now?”
When you’re living the work zombie lifestyle, it’s a routine that you want to disrupt, so today I’m going to share some ideas for the first steps you can take to shake things up. Your initial instinct when you notice a habit or routine that you want to break free from is that you usually want to make big dramatic changes. Especially if your habit is making you miserable. (And I don’t know too many happy work zombies. Do you?) It feels like you need to make some big moves to break yourself free. But what I’ve learned is that to make lasting change, starting out with small steps is the way to go. Over time, those small steps add up to big change.
When you think about escaping your work zombie lifestyle and disrupting that routine, I want you to start small – even though it’ll be the opposite of what you want to do. Don’t worry about overhauling your entire life or creating a complicated 20-step plan. Just start out by taking one small action each day.
So that’s step one, starting small and keeping it simple. The second step is consistency. The amount of time and energy you put into shaking things up is less important than being consistent. This means making sure you’re doing something each day. And here’s the thing, this is the toughest part. Because when you’re a full-fledged work zombie, you’re not going to feel like you have the energy to overcome this every day. But a daily practice is essential to get things going. And keeping it simple will help you to keep it consistent. Steps one and two work together.
Right now you’re probably thinking, “OK, OK Dara. I get it – simple and consistent. But what am I supposed to be doing? I need ideas!” So, Katie (and anyone else listening) let me share some ideas to help get you started.
Step three is PLAY! Yep, you heard me right, I said play. And that is because play is one of the most energizing and reinvigorating things we can do for ourselves – which makes it the strongest antidote to the work zombie lifestyle.
But as an adult, it’s hard to allow yourself to have play time. Because play is for kids, not adults, right? Nope! Adults need to play and have fun too. And I’m betting that if you’ve found yourself living like a work zombie that you may have forgotten how to play and really have fun.
I’d also bet that right about now, you’re feeling a bit skeptical. Play, seriously? Yes, seriously. This is not something I’ve made up. I’ve done a lot of reading and research on the benefits of play on our work and lives. If you’re curious to learn more about why play is so important, I’d suggest starting with Dr. Stuart Brown’s book, which is aptly titled: Play.
OK, so back to play and fun. If you’re listening and feeling a bit stumped about what to do, think back to when you were younger – when you were a kid. What did you do for fun? Rollerskate, hula hoop, shoot hoops with friends, play scrabble or checkers, swing on the swings at the park, ride your bike, jump rope, fly a kite, build a fort. Take a minute to reminisce about what you used to do for fun, how you used to play.
Now, you may not be into flying kites or roller skating anymore - I’m not trying to talk you into doing things you’re not into. But what kinds of play activities could you do now that would give you that same feeling you had as a kid when you were playing?
(And also, just as an aside, who says you can’t go roller skating or flying a kite? If the reason you don’t want to do those things is because “adults don’t do that stuff”, take a minute to ask yourself “why the hell not?”)
I’m guessing that you don’t have enough of the feeling that play and fun creates in your life right now. In fact, you may have none of that feeling at all – that is unfortunately how work zombies are born.
So how can you incorporate play and fun and the feelings that come with it into your day? Remember, keep it simple – it doesn’t have to take up hours and hours – just a few minutes each day to start will do. And you may need to try a few different forms of play to find what’s right for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Maybe one day you put on your favorite song and boogie your heart out in your bedroom. And the next day you hop on your bike and take a short ride around the neighborhood. The point is to make sure you’re enjoying yourself!
And for those of you that are still stumped for ideas, head over to deepfun.com for more inspiration.
Alright, let’s do a quick recap. The three steps for starting to escape your work zombie lifestyle are:
- Keep it simple
- Be consistent
- Play and have fun!!!