6 ways to find joy at your job

If you’re like me, your job doesn’t excite you much. Long hours of monotonous tasks make you excited about only one thing. Leaving. Perhaps the job you’re in right now is just a stepping stone to something better. For most of us, we are working towards a career in something we’re passionate about, something we’ll enjoy doing every minute between eight and five. For others, the career choice they made is now being regretted and they want a change. But in the meantime, there is work to be done at our current jobs and there is s joy to be had in each one. Take a look at these tips to find out how you can have more satisfaction joy at work.

 Stay well rested

This may seem off topic but it’s actually very important. The job you have may not be great but your attitude toward it will help determine how much you enjoy it.  9 times out of 10 when I’m having a bad day at work, it is because I’m tired and I’d rather be sleeping. My energy often takes a downturn halfway through the day and with that also goes my attitude.

Nothing ruins motivation and mood like fatigue.

Have you ever gotten up in the middle of the night to work out? Imagine rolling out of bed, eyes still halfway shut, and doing pushups next to your bed. There would not be a single ounce of motivation inside of you to do it, and if you actually did get out of bed then you’d be questioning why that decision was made in the first place. Of course, you’ve probably never done this because sleep time and workout time are not meant to be intertwined.  They are separate for a reason and it’s the same with your job.

I used to work in the food industry. Every day at the end of my shift I felt like I got hit by a bus. I was so exhausted. But I would only hit that wall of exhaustion by the end of my shift, and it didn’t matter by that point because I was headed home to rest. At this time of my life, I was also in school. During finals week, I was up until 3 in the morning every night studying for my exams. I faced a harsh reality during this week — it was actually quite obvious but I’d just never considered it before. Two or three hours into my shifts, I would hit that wall of exhaustion. I wanted more than anything to sit down and take a break but obviously, I couldn’t do that. I still had two or three hours left on my shift.

This might have been the worst week I ever had working there. I’d go home and almost fall asleep immediately after plopping on the couch. In this specific situation, my discontent at work was caused by my lack energy which I’d already put towards studying for finals. But this wasn’t the only week I ever had like that. Other weeks, the shrinking threshold of my exhaustion window was self-inflicted, caused by staying out all night with friends or watching Netflix until I physically couldn’t stay awake. These times I could’ve easily avoided it and I certainly would’ve enjoyed my work more.

Don’t sacrifice sleep at night for a positive attitude during the workday.

Baby steps

For many people, their current job is merely an income until their dream career is attained. But a secure income stream from the wrong job is a danger to dreams. We can easily be overcome by complacency when working an everyday job– and although the work may be dissatisfying, a secure paycheck that satisfies the bills can be captivating.

If you have a dream job, do not stop working towards it until you reach it. Some days will be tougher than others; it may even seem completely out of reach sometimes. In those times, you must remember to take baby steps. Even just 10 minutes a day working towards your dream job is beneficial in the long run.

For example, say your ideal job is to be a software programmer for Google. All of your free time, saving family and recreation time should be applied towards learning more about that topic. Spend as much time as you can healthily spare — even if it’s just 10 minutes a day — learning different coding languages and mastering your skills. Not a lot of progress will be made in one week, but by week 30 your programming abilities will have developed considerably. Eventually, the skill you spent 10 minutes a day working on will become polished enough to land you a position at Google.

The time factor here is different in all situations. It could be 5 weeks or 5 years. It may be that your dream job is incredibly difficult to achieve and each step seems impossible, but remember — if you take a single step every day, eventually you will move a mile.

Be a leader

A common problem I see with those who are discontent with their work is a lack of involvement. They are disconnected with many facets, including the social aspect of their work environment. Being dedicated to a job means doing every task to the best of your ability and committing yourself to the wellbeing of the other employees. If you’ve worked with someone for months and you still don’t know them very well, there is a problem. You might think to become a leader entails more responsibilities, and maybe so. If the supervisor notices your effort they may decide to give you more daily tasks — which often comes with increased pay. Do not shy away from this, as more responsibility is always better than less in the long run. Refrain, to the best of your ability, from complaining about your job; speaking ill of your situation will only deteriorate your desire for work and cause further discontent.

Even if your work is very basic or entry level, investing in the job will undoubtedly spur your interest at least to the point where you can do your work with joy. Nobody likes a gloomy fellow employee or boss, so be the upbeat energy to the workplace that may be needed. Never pass up an opportunity to help a fellow worker in need because that will bring you the most joy.

Always give yourself something to look forward to

When working at a job where you often contemplate leaving, a great encouragement is being able to think about something you get to do when you’re off work. An incentive of some kind like seeing a movie with friends or going on a weekend trip will do wonders in raising your spirits. Some days, merely getting through the workday is an extreme task. Perhaps you would do well with daily incentives to get you through. I always found that a big weekly incentive helped provide me a better mood while I was working through a tough week.

Let me be clear, this incentive should not be the only thing that gives you any joy throughout the day — even if your job is scrubbing bathroom floors. This should simply be a motivation to get you through the toughest tasks, the lowest lows of the week.

Make yourself feel at home

If at all possible in your job, it’s a great idea to decorate your workspace with objects that reflect your personality. For example, if you love star wars, put a Darth Vader bobblehead on your desk. By personalizing your area, you create a space where you feel comfortable and can easily reflect on things you enjoy when you’re completing

a task you don’t enjoy. Always take some time out of your day, whether it’s at lunch or otherwise, to sit and think about those things surrounding your workspace. This approach isn’t necessarily about showing off your stuff to others, but rather giving yourself a sense of identity at a job that may seem to detract it.

Write it down

Throughout the workday, you may have times where you begin to feel stressed beyond your limit. Perhaps something happened that took away your joy and motivation for the day. On days like this, I encourage you to — upon getting home —  get a journal and write down everything. All of it. Just write it down and get it all out of your head. The more we dwell on negative things the more they eat away at us. Take some time — even just 10 minutes — and get it all out of your system. The anger, fear, sadness, and stress can all be expressed on a page. Writing it down gets it out of your brain’s compartment where it holds worries and stresses.

Maybe just write down something you are thankful for at work. It might be a co-worker that you enjoy being around or maybe a certain task you get to do. Find the good in your day and write it down. When you are having a tough time, go back and read what you wrote to help you lift your spirits.

Not every job will be able to apply every one of these, but try a few of them to gauge their effect on your workday. Overall, just remember to love and care for the people around you, and always count them as more significant than yourself.

Tell me in the comments about your work situation. What are you going to do about it?

3 practical driving tips to save you money on gas

How far away do you live from your job? Maybe 10 minutes? 30? An hour? If you fall into one of these categories — or if you merely drive a lot — these tips will liberate you from spending precious minutes and dollars at the gas pump.

I’ve collected my own data to compile this list, but I assure that you will come up with the same money saving results if you follow these tips. Make note that the more aware you are as a driver, the better results you will reap from this information

I’ve put these things into practice for years with my own driving and saved hundreds of dollars on gas money.

Have a steady foot

You may not have heard of a steady foot, but how about a lead foot?

A lead foot is not ideal for gas mileage because the throttle is linear. What does that mean? Simply put, the harder you press the gas pedal, the more fuel is sent to the engine and burned up.

You’re never going to see that fuel again.

Being too aggressive with the throttle will only serve to use up your gas as quickly as possible. Instead, be light with the pedal. Never put it all the way to the floor — and if you really want to save gas — don’t even go past halfway.

You might be thinking, “I wish there were some gauge or instrument that helped me out with this”.

Well good news, there is! It’s called the tachometer and it’s the second large gauge next to the speed. Here it is pictured below. Left side with the numbers 1 through 8.

Also called the RPM’s(revolutions per minute x 1000), this gauge basically measures how hard the engine is working. The higher the number displayed on the tachometer, the more fuel is being used to move the car forward.

 

So it’s easy to see how lower RPM’s makes for less fuel consumption. To keep the RPM’s low, work on having an easier application of the throttle — or as I put it before — have a steady foot.

My rule is to always keep the RPM’s below 2000 (or 2). Although I speed up quite slower than everybody around me, I am saving a ton of gas in the long run by doing this every time I start.

Prepare for the hills

For the majority of us, our daily driving doesn’t consist completely of flat road. To be more realistic, we have to throw in some hills, dips, and slopes.

So how do we prepare for this kind of terrain?

Think back to when you were a kid riding your bike down a hill. You could fly down that thing with no effort whatsoever, all the while gaining speed.

Well, it’s the same way in a car. All of th

e energy used to turn the engine is converted to kinetic energy from the wheels while no fuel is being used.

So when you see a hill coming, slowly begin to accelerate enough to compensate for the hill. Don’t exceed 2000 RPM’s, and upon reaching the hill adjust back to nor

mal cruising RPM’s (try to keep these as low as possible — I aim for 1250). Your goal is to have the speed decrease back to whatever your cruising speed was before the hill.

Note: I would not use cruise control unless you are on flat roads. The car’s computer does not anticipate terrain, and therefore cannot adequately prepare for it.

Of course, this will all differ with the size of every hill but if you drive the same route every day you’ll become accustomed to each part of the journey. After you reach the top, you can use the downhill slope to gain speed without using any gas.

Basically, you want to ride it like a rollercoaster while using the gas pedal as little as possible.

Don’t use the brakes so much

On today’s roads, everyone is constantly driving bumper to bumper.

Not only is this dangerous but it wastes a ton of gas as well.

Be the smart driver on the road. Allow for plenty of room between yourself and the guy in front of you. Why?

How many times have you been approaching a stop light and start braking 15 ft before you reach the light? You come to a screeching stop at the line and let out a huge breath of air once you realize you made it. But then 3 seconds later the light turns green and you start going again. There’s a big problem with this.

Your car uses a whole lot more energy to get going from a standstill. So by stopping and starting constantly, you’re essentially throwing away gas.

Instead — as you approach a red light — start coasting so that inertia will begin to slow you down. It will take much longer for you to get to the light, and it’s liable to turn green while you coast towards it. This way you don’t waste the unnecessary gas by starting your car from a stop. Do this continually and it will save you a significant amount of gas money.

 

There are a ton of ways to save money on gas, but these are the most effective in my experience. Put these into use and start using that gas budget on more fun things!

10 money saving tips that will change your life

Sometimes, it can be difficult for anyone to handle their money in a responsible manner. Here are some tips to help you on your journey to frugality.

 

 

        1. Due to modern marketing, new and exciting products are constantly battling for our attention. Whenever you feel the urge to purchase a non-necessity, give yourself a couple of days before you buy it. Often times, the impulse will have passed and you’ll be glad to still have the money.
        2. Whenever you’re about to buy something, think about how many hours wages it cost. If the amount of work you put in outweighs the value of the item you’re purchasing, forget it
          .
        3. Be aware of where your money is going. These days everyone is signed up to dozens of subscriptions that charge you monthly. Make sure you are will to be paying for these. Look at your bank statement every once in a while and actually find out where your money goes.
        4. Every payday, take half of what you have left over after paying bills and put it into a savings account. It won’t seem like much at first, but over some time it will grow into a substantial amount.
        5. Only eat out at a restaurant once or twice a week(depending on how much you make). The cost of those meals add up quickly so by cooking your own food more often, you can save this money for other necessities. When you do eat out, get water with your meal and instantly save $2-4.\
        6. This one doesn’t go for everyone. I am not a coffee drinker so I don’t need to worry about this at all. But the majority of my family (and everyone else in America) drinks coffee on the daily. The problem is coffee at star bucks or your other favorite place costs a fortune after you’ve been there a few times. Try buying the coffee beans and making your coffee at home. Not only will you save a ton of time, but your bank account will feel some relief as well.
        7. Use a credit card for everything! It might sound weird but hear me out. Making every purchase with a credit card will help you build credit. As long as you pay it off every month, it won’t really be different from a debit card, except you will earn $100’s in reward cash throughout the year.
        8.  Make a spreadsheet to track everything you spend. Rent, groceries, utilities, misc. At the end of the day or after a night out, enter your expenses real fast before you crash. This way, you will never be surprised when your bank account balance is at 40 cents. (hopefully, you have a plan to get out of that one). There are even some apps that do essentially the same thing and save you time that you’re not logging onto the computer.
        9. Buy things at the end of the month. How many times have you approached the end of the month with an intense worry that you won’t be able to pay the bills? You think “Man, I shouldn’t have spent $500 on that memory foam mattress”. To avoid this, wait until the end of the month before you buy anything extra that you want. This will teach you to be more responsible with the money you make. Plus, getting the necessities paid for first makes you feel more deserving of whatever you want to spend your extra money on.
        10. Final tip: Do not constantly chase everything you want. Look at your parents and/or grandparents. They didn’t start out with a house full of appliances, electronics, and adornment. Learn to accumulate things over time and take your spending step by step. Build your financial future like you would build a house. One day at a time.

 

Which one of these tips will you use to improve your financial life? What are some other tips you have tried that work well?

5 tips to fall asleep on a plane

Falling asleep on a plane

Traveling out of the country is one of the most exciting things that 66 million Americans do every year. Unfortunately, traveling abroad often times requires long and excruciating plane rides.  They are hours of boredom during a time that you planned on living it up with beach days and lattes. The best way to pass the time though is just to sleep through it.

And thus we have our problem.

If you’ve ever tried to sleep on a plane before, you know the struggle. The turbulence makes you feel like someone is shaking you endlessly, and altitude changes can feel like a punch to the stomach.

But there are ways to overcome these difficulties. Here are 5 of my favorites!

Get a window seat

Window seats are always nice because you can enjoy the great view while flying. But they also have some somnolent advantages.

Place your pillow between you and the side of the plane and rest up against the window. This way you won’t need to sit upright the entire time, which we all know is a difficult position to sleep in.

Sleeping during a daytime flight can be especially difficult because all the open windows will bring a ton of light into the cabin. Having a window seat allows you to control the light intensity in your immediate proximity. If everyone around you has their windows open, a simple sleep mask will solve that problem.

A bonus to the window seat is that it will help with motion sickness!

Don’t look at your phone

As if there aren’t enough distractions while flying, we like to look at our phones in the middle of trying to sleep. If you want good quality sleep, stow away any electronic devices. The blue light emitted from phones and tablets, similar to sunlight, reduce melatonin levels — making it much more difficult to sleep.

On many international flights, there are TV’s on the back of every seat for in-flight entertainment. They are actually very tempting because they’ve got many of the newest movies and some really fun games on there. But the same goes for these. Don’t mess with them unless you’re not trying to sleep.

 

Stretch before boarding

I tried this one out for myself on a recent trip to Europe. Before I left for the airport, I stretched profusely until I felt really loose. After getting off the 9-hour flight, I felt just about good enough to do it again!

I also took measures during the flight to reduce any pain afterward. Sitting without twisting my body too much, keeping my legs straight with a slight bend at the knee,  relaxing my arms by my side, and leaning my seat back all helped to decrease any uncomfortability.

On the way back, I didn’t stretch at all — and I certainly felt the difference. Aches in my back and legs were bothering me during and a few hours after the flight.

Sleep on the pullout tray

This is another alternative to sleeping while sitting straight up. While it might be tough for some to bend down enough to rest on the pullout tray, if you’re short then it will work. You can bring a pillow to put on it, or simply flip around your neck pillow and use it that way. It’s very similar to laying your head on a desk when you sleep in class.

By the way, I’m not advocating sleeping in class, nor am I saying that I’ve ever done it.

But it’s a lot like that.

I also tried this one on my recent trip and it seems that simply getting horizontal after sitting vertically for so long will help you doze off easier.

 

Listen to soothing music

once you get up in the air, you’ll quickly notice that the sound of the engine stays very loud and annoying. It’s tough to sleep with that constant noise unless for some reason it soothes you. This was the case for my friend who enjoyed the white noise type buzzing sound of the engine. Myself and many others I’ve spoken to do not find it soothing and would rather pop in headphones to drown it out. If you’re trying to sleep, listen to something with a soft slow beat. This will mix with the engine sound in the background to create a soothing white noise.

Don’t forget, these aren’t the only things you can do. Many people have personal preferences when it comes to getting comfortable on a plane. For example, I like to wear a hoodie and tie the hood closed around my head.

I may look weird but I don’t care because I’m asleep.

Don’t ignore the troubles that come along with an extensive plane ride. Take these tips into account and make your travel as comfortable as possible.

Also, let me know how these work for you and if there is a good one I left out!