#59 “How Can I Care Less About Work?” “Why am I so invested in my job, how can I care less about work?” If this sounds painfully familiar, trust me when I state that this is a common dilemma! Eliminate the Question Asking, “How can I care less about work?” is a misguided question that is irrelevant to the real problem (see Post #35). “How can I care less about work” presupposes you should care in the first place. It implies you have an internal attachment to your external work – and this is dangerous. This question assumes that ‘caring less’ is the solution to your burnout, stress, or work frustrations. Allow me to offer an alternative perspective. If you can open your mind and welcome new points of view, I would like to pose a different angle. Before we get to that, the common work approach below may apply to you if you are trying to care less. The Common Approach Work does not exist for you to: Care what others think of you or your outputOverwork to the point of missing out on real lifeWorry about employment statusRuminate over harsh words someone saidBe available at the employer’s beck and callFix everyone’s fires except your own putting your job at riskPut your life on hold to aggressively travel against your willPlease everybody The purpose of work is not to be emotionally tied to outcomes of your performance or to others’ opinions. This common behavior can surely lead you towards a meltdown if things go sour at work. Asking, “how can I care less about work” is a cry out for help. “But I’m supposed to care about my work and performance … if I’m not emotional then it means I don’t care!” Okay. I hear what you’re saying. I ask you to keep an open mind and read the next section. This is probably new territory for many of you, so notice if you embrace or reject these suggestions. A More Practical Approach Work does exist for you to Use reasonable judgment to fulfill an employment contractPerform transactionsAttempt your best day in and day outRecognize strengths and weaknessesFail, try, fail again, and try againUnderstand your limits and set boundariesLearn how to be resourcefulExpand your brainpower by developing yourselfOvercome interpersonal challenges by working with difficult peopleServe an organization utilizing supplied resourcesHelp others help themselvesImprove things that cross your path – projects, conversations, and people Notice how this list is more flexible and forgiving. This list does not require you to have an emotional attachment to any particular outcome. It absolves you from having to cling to the job; there is no dependency on what others might think. Therefore, don’t ask yourself, “how can I care less about work.” Instead, ask yourself, “Did I try my best today considering the way I felt along with the information available?” At the end of the day, there is nothing more that any one person, including you, can ask of yourself. When you know you’ve done your best per the given circumstances, all else falls into place. If you enjoy this content, I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and ask me about free strategy sessions for your career!