How to Keep Up with the Daily Grind

How to Keep Up with the Daily Grind

If your work gets you down and you feel what you’re doing every day is beneath you, how do you keep up with the daily grind?

I’ve been there. I was an intern working at a job that didn’t feel like it was contributing to the world’s wellbeing as much as pushing numbers around. I was there again when I started my first business, setting up web sites and getting caught up in the little stuff all the time.

I knew I had a lot more in me to give, but the day to day work I was doing was not of the calibre I knew it could be. But it was paying the rent and putting food on the table.

How can you keep putting one foot in front of the other doing the work that pays the bills, where it’s freelancing or a full-time job, when you want to branch out and do more meaningful, life-changing work?

Whether you’re slogging away at a day job and you want to start your own business, or you’re in the right field but you’re pushing papers and fetching coffee… it’s time to get creative in solving your work quandary.

1. Reframe the Grindstone

The first step to reclaiming the time you spend working is to reframe the grindstone. More easily said than done, this one little tip can change the way you approach your work so much that you’ll come home feeling energized and ready to climb the next mountain.

How can you start looking at your current job as your business loan? Or as the most readily available pathway to your ideal work?

Once you realize that this work that you’re doing is necessary to achieving your goals, and finally ending up in the line of work you know you’re meant to be in, things shift.

Suddenly your rude coworkers become allies in helping you move forward. Your worst clients become the motivation to evolve your business model so you’re doing the work you know you’re meant to do.

It also helps to look at the big picture. Maybe you’re refilling someone’s gas tank, but if that helps someone get to their work to help their clients live better lives.

Or if you’re sweeping up the garbage on the street, but you know it’s going to lead to a cleaner environment and fewer animals getting caught in plastic containers… these are all worthy jobs that contribute to the betterment of the world at the end of the day.

2. Learn from the Mundane Tasks

I believe that everything happens for a reason, including any job or work experience you pick up along the way. Is it a coincidence that you’re currently mastering data entry? One day you might be tallying millions and tracking the results of your non-profit’s donation campaign.

Through customer service or bar tending you’ll pick up people skills that will help you in any line of work. Working with a tough boss will teach you negotiation, and each time you’re asked to photocopy a stack of papers you’ll hone your patience.

None of this work is wasted if you know how to look for the lesson. You’ll be looking back at your career in a few years and noticing how each of your “daily grind” jobs have contributed to your success. It’s inevitable.

Be grateful for your current work; it’s here to help you grow, while paying the bills.

3. Talk about Your Ideal Work Often

Don’t love your current work? There’s no need to emphasize your distaste for it, when you can instead focus on the work you love. Whether you’re writing or painting on evenings and week-ends, or you’re eyeing the next programming project at work… talk about it!

Talk about the work you’d love to do more of with anyone who will listen. When you introduce yourself at parties, talk about your ideal job or business first. Then mention that you’re currently paying the bills by doing your less than ideal job.

Focus on your appreciation for the work you do have (remember the reframe in step 1) and how it allows you to plan for doing more of your ideal work.

You never know when someone you meet will be able to introduce you to your next boss, business partner, or client.

You’ll also immediately start to feel a shift within yourself as you explain what you do, and you’ll take your great work in the world more seriously the next time you sit down to do it, or polish your resume for it.

Don’t Allow Yourself to Be Ground Out

Your great work needs to be done — there’s no doubt about it. Focus on the big picture that your current work is contributing to, and remember that this phase of your career shall pass.

How do you keep up with the daily grind?

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Nathalie Lussier is a digital strategist who helps women get techy with their businesses. She’s the creator of The Website Checkup Tool, a free service that assess which parts of your website could use some tweaking to increase traffic, conversions, and sales. She drinks green juice and loves martial arts.


  1. Alison Elissa Horner on the 8th December

    Tip #3 is right on point. I really liked your idea of mentioning what you want to be doing first in conversation, and then following up with how you pay your bills. Opportunities always come through people, so tell the people what you want!

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