Can 9 - 5 ever work?
Ever found yourself stuck at your desk, watching the clock countdown the minutes as you fight the urge to fall asleep/make coffee/eat more cake? Sure, we all know it's a crime to wish your life away, but if you've ever found yourself desperately wishing the hands on the clock would move a little bit faster as you count down to 5pm, then you wouldn't be the first.
We're simply not designed to work like this. For women in particular, the idea of a linear routine, based on the idea that we are the same week in and week out, is just nonsensical. But even for men, an 8 hour working day doesn't make sense. We are cyclical creatures, our circadian rhythms (and for women, the menstrual cycle) give us a natural internal guideline for when to work most productively and when to just sack it all off and go home and take a nap.
Unfortunately for many of us we're either not in touch with the internal voice which makes itself heard through subtle sensations in the body, or we are in touch but we're in a situation where we've committed ourselves to something that requires our 'undivided attention' (read bums on seats) and so we learn to ignore the internal voice, and probably track up countless 'unproductive' hours pretending to work i.e. making cups of tea, checking Facebook, scrolling through the inbox repeatedly.
I'm self-employed, so I have the good fortune to be able to choose when and how I work (to a certain degree). I'm still not immune to the 3pm dip though, and the urge to ride it out with coffee and sugar when what I probably need is yoga nidra. But even with my ever increasing tools of self care, there comes a time when I find myself in a situation where I'm needed to perform a role, and although my urge might be to hide under the duvet, I simply can't.
How do we overcome this?
Well, yoga nidra works. My friend Natalie calls these yoga nidra naps and I am like the idea that yoga can send you to sleep. Hey, yoga is a gift, it'll give you what you need, and if the gift you need is sleep then let it bring you sleep. If you're not working in a totally forward-thinking organisation that has space put aside for employees to nap (and if you are, definitely let me know so we can celebrate these places) then getting outside of the office and breathing, you know, fresh air might help. Especially if you work in one of those places that don't let you open the windows cos they're scared you might jump out. (I've been there. I sympathise).
Of course, the ultimate way to 'overcome' this is to make it a non-issue. Either accept where you are, or jack it all in and do something you love. Yes seriously. Book the flight, start your own business, reduce your hours and spend more time with your kids, get a cleaner, whatever. In the grand scheme of everything happening in the world right now, take pleasure in the fact that there is no one in the world as preoccupied with you as you so what the hell, just try something new.
Maybe, just maybe, if you started working with your body, not against it, other things in life would work better. Maybe if you started listening to your heart, and acting on your intuition, things might start to flow. Maybe none of that will happen but you'll have a bloody good ride (and a decent story for the pub) to share. Whatever you decide to do, just remember this, next time you're watching the clock tick the minutes down, you are literally watching your life tick away. So - what you going to do next?