Every Friday afternoon, write down everything that you would recommend in your exit interview. Be exhaustive. Be specific.
On Monday morning, tackle that list. Pick the most high impact work and cancel the exit chat.
Your day job is bullshit. You think daily about quitting. Chances are that you’re entertaining escape fantasies because you’ve become embroiled in day-to-day minutiae that proves existence, but adds no value to the customers your business works for.
PowerPoint, Excel, Email, Meetings. These all point to work; they are not work themselves. The drain on an enterprise is so pernicious that the lean movement have identified it as an eighth type of waste, or muda, and aims to eliminate as much as possible from the system. All of these tasks are essential in some sustaining way, but they should not be the primary focus of your day or your business.
The personal damage accumulates as you exhaust your ambition and willpower on inessential tasks and you build increasing resentment by working yourself to the bone doing mind-numbing coordination and facilitation. Yuck.
Filling your life with white-carb, empty calorie makework is just designing for burnout. Marissa Mayer describes it well “Burnout is about resentment. It’s about knowing what matters to you so much that if you don’t get it that you’re resentful.”
If this fosters fantasies of quitting and telling your company what you think, then good. You should. You should be prepared to be fired for insubordination, not ineffectiveness. But don’t hide behind the cowardice of “one day, I’ll show them”. Don’t wait until your desk is packed and your email is deleted. Start now.
Make the list of everything you’d tell the HR manager you’d change about your working practice and environment. Everything you’d recommend has drawn your focus so is, by definition, something you’re passionate about. You care enough that you imagine staking your livelihood on it.
Quit your job every Friday. On Monday start doing what you believe in. The office address is just a detail.