How to Avoid Getting Stuck “In the Meantime”

Rolanda L., explains how to avoid common pitfalls associated with getting stuck in “in the meantime” situations.

We often commit to things for which we lack passion. We take jobs that aren’t in our intended career field because we need to make ends meet. We spend time in less-than-ideal settings with an incompatible social group because it’s “better than being alone.” We go on dates with people who probably aren’t appropriate matches from the outset because “you never know who will be the one (…debatable…you can often tel who is NOT the one).” We remain in dysfunctional relationships of all varieties because “it could be worse.” This sort of thinking has its time and place. Unfortunately, for many of us, it is often applied virtually all the time in many of the wrong places.

Choosing “in the meantime” situations is only appropriate when combined with an exit plan that leads the individual closer to his or her ideal goal. “In the meantime” is not an adequate substitute for the lack of a goal or plan. While it is true that plans are sometimes delayed or even derailed, an exit strategy must also be malleable enough to accommodate the unexpected hand life may sometimes deal. Otherwise, there may be a great temptation to remain focused on the immediate term instead of looking out onto the horizon and making plans according to the terrain that stretches forth. It is when a person submits to the temptation to remain focused on the immediate term that the risk of encountering long-term lack of fulfillment sets in.

Unfulfilled Life Ambitions Often Lead to a Vicious Cycle

Remaining in an “in the meantime” situation that is not congruent with your overall desire for your life may seem comfortable at first, but eventually, the effects of not actively working toward your goals will emerge in other areas. Working a steady job, but uncompelling may pay the bills at first, but spending large chunks of time in a role that does not feed into a greater passion is oftentimes accompanied by added stress or even feelings of “numbness.” People often utilize their hard-earned income to alleviate stress and avoid numbness by pursuing other outlets, including expensive vacations, drinking, gambling, shopping, or other activities to create a greater separation from “work” during off-duty hours. There is nothing inherently wrong with leisure activities. However, knowing that you are committed to working 5 days a week in a capacity that is in conflict with your life goals can intensify the urge to get as far away from work as possible when you’re not working. The cycle becomes vicious when you realize are spending so much of your income on activities to get away from work, that you find yourself having to work more to maintain your basic, everyday needs throughout the work week (i.e. food, shelter, clothing, electricity, transportation, etc.). Entering the cycle often means having to delay your desired goals even longer.

 

Avoiding the Cycle of Unfulfilled Ambition

The cycle of working to make ends meet and spending the rest on activities that help us forget about work is alarmingly common among many of us. While most people mistakenly think the key to avoiding the cycle is to either be independently wealthy or very lucky, it is not only feasible for some people to avoid the pitfalls of working in an unfulfilling job altogether, but it is even possible for those who absolutely must work an “in the meantime” job and leverage it to pursue a life goal.

 

The Role of Detailed, Yet Flexible Planning

Plans are made and broken all the time. However, attempting to reach a desired destination without utilizing a map is the least efficient way to get there. Similar to traveling to a new restaurant or shop on an unfamiliar side of town or visiting a friend in a new city, employing the use of a “map” when working toward a goal can be very beneficial. When working to achieve career goals, an action plan or “career map” might include the level of education required to achieve the ultimate goal, schools that award the required degrees or certificates as well as their entry requirements and tuition costs. In addition to education, a plan might include related part-time jobs that will not only help cover the costs associated with achieving the goal, but also help develop skills that can be used in pursuit of the ultimate career destination. Internships and related postgraduate entry-level positions may also be included in the plan.

Planning is not only helpful when working toward a fulfilling career. “Mapping” is also effective when navigating the road to personal and relationship goals. A person who would like to dedicate more of their resources to philanthropy may wish to map out a course to working for a non-profit organization or create a detailed budget to determine how to achieve a goal of giving a certain amount to charitable organizations each month or year. An individual who wishes to allocate a certain amount of time to community service projects may start by creating a detailed schedule and determining changes that may need to be made in the interest of freeing up time to do volunteer work. When seeking new friends or a romantic relationship, mapping out shared interests you would like to have with a potential friend or partner and planning to participate in related activities is an excellent starting point for meeting like-minded people.

Conclusion

Whether you are feeling stagnant in your job, relationships, or any other area in your life, take a step back, evaluate where you are in relation to where you would like to go, and plan accordingly. By continuing to reassess your current whereabouts and reevaluate your plan, you will eventually end up where you would like to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unpacking the Purge is Now Available on Amazon

Just in time for the new year! This guide thoroughly details the way I have always taught even my most disorganized first-time clients to begin to make the shift from complete disorder to a series of functioning systems that enhance productivity and are realistically maintainable. It is the very foundation upon which all my other life-changing strategies are built and explores the oft-overlooked interconnectivity between physical environment, outlook, and achievement.  A good, effective purge can achieve more than simply reducing the distraction of clutter. For many, purging also means finally closing the door on personal stagnation, changing counterproductive habits, and making a firm decision to commit to living a healthier, more productive lifestyle.

Get your copy HERE!

 

 

Announcing eCoaching Subscriptions!

After helping New York-based clients through weekly recurring organizational coaching sessions over the years, my coaching services will now be available over the internet.

eCoaching is a monthly subscription service through which clients may work closely with me via email and Skype to devise an action plan to help them become more organized. At the start of each week, I will deliver a customized email detailing weekly steps and areas of focus to help bring about the behavioral change the client wishes to achieve. In addition to the weekly action plan, the subscription also includes unlimited email support and the option of having a bonus 30-minute Skype check-in call each week.

If you believe you may benefit from the guidance of an organizational coach, contact me today to discuss your goals!

A Tale of An Inefficient Workplace

Employee A arrives at work and immediately feels a familiar sense of dread. She sits down at her cubicle and promptly begins checking messages in her company email account. She comes across a message from her supervisor requesting that she print several documents and prepare them for the late morning department meeting. As Employee A proceeds to the printer to pick up the documents, the printer chimes to signal an empty paper tray. Employee A redirects her path to the storage closet on the other side of the office where the printer paper is stored. Upon retrieving more paper, Employee A hears the phone on her desk ring. She returns to her desk, recognizes the number as that of her supervisor and answers. Her supervisor asks whether Employee A has seen another email referencing a spreadsheet she has been tasked to create by noon. Employee A jots down a few notes regarding edits she will need to make to the spreadsheet’s layout and dutifully returns to the print station to refill the paper and to finally retrieve her documents. After returning to her desk with documents in hand, Employee A reaches for her stapler and discovers it has run out of staples. She sighs and returns to the supply closet, located across the office, and realizes she is only 15 minutes into her workday and is already beginning to feel exhausted. Employee A repeats a similar sequence of events several times for the next seven hours.

Disorganization Contributes to Fatigue

Many employees find themselves experiencing fatigue, not solely due to the extent of their workload, but also as a result of attempting to work efficiently in a disorganized setting. Overcrowded file drawers, illogical layouts, and the hunt for misplaced supplies can add up to a non-obvious losses in productivity as employees must divert their time and energy to secondary tasks.

Maintaining an Organized Workplace Improves Productivity

A professional organizer who specializes in office settings can help businesses identify these “productivity vampires” and recommend solution to make the workday less taxing and more efficient for workers. By working with a professional to identify and address pain points, companies may significantly reduce worker fatigue and enable their employees to focus more of their time and energy on performing essential job duties.