Sanity, before, during and especially after work

hey, again here to voice a few concerns. so i graduated in may and i’m just cutting my teeth in the real world. I am bit of a special case in that I am 29 and I spent A LONG TIME in school. (from 18 to 28! i switched schools and majors)) So now that I am out I have come to one solid conclusion…the daily grind sucks! Now now, i know its good to be employed! Trust me when I say that I fully appreciate it and the ability to float rent and student loans at the same time while saving!

But now that I have reached a point where everything about my life is stagnant to the point where I can tell time by cups of coffee and smokes consumed. I need to know what other people do to keep going mentally in the bigger picture when the first thing you want to do is wild out something like Dave Chappelle in half baked (f&$% you, f&$% youf&$% youf&$% you, you’re cool). Or when you really want to just run out and toss a frisbee around like a stoned new ager in a park when the sun is out.

This is a not a design question directly but a designer question for people that went from living a hectic student life where everyday was different and a challenge because everyday was different and a challenge. What do you all do to ease up before the grind (effing commutes!), during it and after it (besides beeeeeer)? Thanks.

Shake it up at work, do things to make it more interesting. Come up with projects and take them on if your regular work is boring you.

Oh, and drinking isn’t a hobby, find releases outside of work, this could be anything you’re interested in. When you’re in school you usually don’t have as much time and money to pursue stuff you’re interested in during your free time, now you do, have fun.

I always felt like that when I worked for all the companies I worked for. I was forever moaning about my boss, the company should do this and that, blah blah blah…and the stress of getting to work at the same time everyday and not being the first to leaving (this was in the UK) was something I did not enjoy.

I finally realised it wasn’t the work that was getting me down, it was being told what to do by people I had little respect for and not getting the chance to do what I felt was right.

So I started my own business with a friend. Had a great 4 years, working on my schedule and getting the time to spend with my young kids when I wasn’t busy and we did really well. The partnership went a bit tits up so I walked away and now I’m back to doing freelance. If you have the talent, the experience and the network to keep you ticking over it is the worlds best job.

I was just talking to my wife (who has a stressful advertising industry job) last night about how damn lucky I have to be doing what I do. I have my whole life in my hands and can do whatever I like with it, it can be quite enlightening for some people.

I think this is another one where what works for some doesn’t for others of course. But for me, I find being emerged in a creative culture outside of work helps immensely. Doing to art and music sows, linking up with other creatives and just doing a lot of extracurricular creative stuff keeps me going. At work, I really don’t like having the same week twice. I try to work at home one day a week, have lunch with people outside of my company when I can, and try to mix up my days, work with different people and so on.

Its a marathon not a sprint… and it is a long ass marathon.

Eat lunch out doors, sketch on the ride to and from work (unless you drive yourself, if so then bad luck) and make friends with people at work. Thats all I got. If you can´t hack it, start your own business! Or move to jamaica and become a scuba instructor…

I never understood the California Surfer mentality; Dude, surf’s up, we’re, like, outta here! Until I took up sailing.

Now I fully understand that there are days in the month when the the wind is over 20 knots, and it is necessary, if not mandatory, not to be at work.

the office culture is tough on new grads. i usually find knowing more coworkers is helpful because casual conversations with them can help break up a day and help you to see the business from their view.

i usually walk around a bit every hour or so. this helps me to freshen my head and gets me in the view of my coworkers in other departments. sometimes, i just go walk around the block while smoking (10 minutes).

i try to get outside, leave the office for lunch with other coworkers. a social meal helps to relieve a lot of stress.

outside of work, i have hobbies. when i was younger and single, i did a lot of traveling. mainly short day trips. some of my positions were away from where i was familiar with, so i immersed myself in the culture. even after i married i still did this to learn more about regional human behavior and history. i also tried some hockey leagues, but previous injuries prevented me from enjoying it much. i reaacquainted myself with motorsports, which is how i met my wife.

drinking is not a hobby. be careful about that.

I am currently still a student and was working part-time to make ends meet, and though working at a bar was fun and great with good pay, I feel like its harder now in the economy to actually find a job that keeps you mentally stable. As far as freelancing goes, has anyone been experiencing trouble with work lately? I’m interested in the idea of working for myself but apprehensive that it’s just going to lead me down a dead end path…

heh. thanks for the suggestions.
here is the thing…the parts about meeting other folks in the office?

we are a TINY company. the most we can have at any given time is about 16 and thats a full office.

as for after work I’ve started to go back to art making because thats the thing that got me to where I am now. I got into art school as an art student before going into design. So now my garage is (dollar by dollar) becoming a wood shop, Ive also started another version of a long term project that I think a lot of people can learn from. Its an old trick/project taught to me by an old city college teacher.

You get one sketch book, min size pref 8 by 11, you pick one color plus black and white (with the color, all hues are available to your disposal) and you pick one shape. The idea is to let idea ideas bleed through very literally. You are to do on average 3-6 pages a night. For designers this is great because you are forced to constantly rethink the way you approach the same subject each time you begin a new page.

As far going freelance, starting my own business, thats a long road. If anything I would like to get into a place where I can start going to grad school very soon. I mean, I love working and making monies, but I get into points where I feel my brain slipping away. Even though I am learning on the job every single day, its a different type of knowledge that does not address abstract thinking.

So in a move to get nerdy I’ve started to spend a few saturdays here and there in the public library. I’ve even started to go back to my old school library. (yay alumni benefits!)

I guess its just that its really hard dealing with the way time works when you work full time, you go in, you work, you look up and then its time to go (could be worse, I could be in a job where time takes forever to pass!). Then you go home, eat, do something for an hour and then sleep.Thats the crazy part of it for me!

Great advice folks!

Damn, drinking isn’t a hobby? It’s treated me so well all these years!

I drink and shoot Nazi Zombies on my Xbox. Hey, it works. :laughing:

I think the way the wind and surf work in most places, it’s never dependable so when its good you have to get on it or you’re going to miss out. Somehow it makes you love the sport even more when you’re into it… it’s probably something like why people that like gambling on games of chance get so addicted

hey KERFcut, you might want to try getting on a sports team or some other kind of vigorous exercise that’s fun and gives you a good workout. It always seems like when I have weeks where the grind is getting me down, I’ve let the exercise slide for some reason or another. After a week back on the wagon, I feel like a million bucks and am much more energized about the same challenges…

Routine is the enemy! You’ve got to make an effort to switch it up.

Getting out for lunch is a must for me. I’ll grab a book or a notepad and eat outside at a cafe if I can. Posting on Core77 is always a nice mental break.

Take a different way to work. Switch up your hours. Work from home one day. Come home an hour early and go to work an hour early the next day.

At work too… I’ve scheduled something called “User Experience Cinema Fridays” where we sit around and watch something together (there are TONS of conference videos on the net these days–especially all the TED talks.)

I just couldn’t hack corporate culture in the end, it didn’t suit me and I felt trapped.

I know some people love it and like to be looked after in plush offices with their fabulous gyms and coffee shops, but for me it’s just a big turn off. My business partner is the same - and we both worked for companies that were given awards to do with their offices and culture!

I think when I did work in an office it was very important to break the day up and get out at lunchtime. I’m with cg - too much routine and it gets like groundhog day.

Play paintball.

Oh shoot!

I’m getting ready to jump into the corporate world after 3 years of freelancing, I’ve had successful products on the market but I still haven been able to sustain myself financially. Yeah, it’s great to have to the freedom but I can’t hack taking money from my parents for groceries at age 32. So, I started to apply for jobs and have been getting some interest. Even tho I haven’t started work anywhere yet, I admit I am afraid of getting down about the daily grind. I have a lot of discipline but I’ve never worked in-house and don’t know if corporate culture will really suit me. But back to you, I have a lot of artists friends who haven ended up in corporate roles and they just aren’t happy. If art was your first love, think about what first attracted you. Is this still true today? Maybe it always will be? Maybe you could work part-time and pursue your art the rest of the time?

At work, the only way I escape the stress is getting away. Privacy and the ability to think without interruption don’t exist at my office so I go find it…sometimes just to the back room, bathroom, or even the car.

Exercise is a great solution for when you are on the verge of insanity at home after work, cardio seems to do the trick. Also, if you have a family or a lover, intimate time can go a long way. If none of that works for you, consider getting some therapy.

There really is no single answer, however, it often leads back to you being unhappy at your job. Any type of remedy is only temporary until the cause is addressed.

Good luck.

Suck it up, sweetcakes. Work is a four letter word. Get used to it.

If you want a release lift weights and listen to Slayer. :smiling_imp:

I have a lot of discipline but I’ve never worked in-house and don’t know if corporate culture will really suit me.

A regular paycheck might change your opinion … a bit.

For me, it’s photography. Take a break, go outside and walk the same route with my camera and try not to take pictures that I’ve already taken. Makes me try to see the same route differently or find something (details) that maybe I’ve not noticed before. Sometimes if the light is really good I’ll ask someone if I can take their portrait and then it usually turns into a nice conversation.

I try not to watch too much TV when I get home because I feel like I’m just trying to kill time, waiting to go back to work.

It’s good to hear that so many people are able to find an escape…I’ve been having a similar problem, granted I’m only an intern right now but we do 10 hours everyday while no one really takes a lunch break longer than a few minutes and then its back to work. The tough part is its been the same work with the same process project after project. Another hard part is I relocated for the internship and there are under 5 other employees, luckily I have the gym