Select Page

What do you feel so grumpy at the end of the day? Here are the top reasons you may be frustrated at work — and what to do about it.

frustrated at work

Unsustainable Pressure

Most men report an unsustainable pressure to perform at work — often because expectations for success are unclear. Whether the pressure comes from too many demands compared with too few hours in the work day, or too little work and perhaps too little income, you feel pressure to perform at a level that doesn’t feel sustainable. And when you add in the pressure you may feel from those watching from the sidelines, including co-workers, family and partners, it can feel pretty overwhelming.

So that’s number one: you’re frustrated at work because of the unsustainable pressure without clear expectations of what success looks like.

Mismatch with Meaning

But even more important, it turns out, is the question of meaning. Somewhere in your head is an unwritten formula as you look for a match between the effort you put and the reward you get out. Because meaning is connected with meaningful effort. When your effort doesn’t match the reward, your motivation decreases, and you can end up feeling very bad indeed.

The question is, what gives you meaning? It might be money. But more likely, it is the feeling that what you do with your time and creativity has clear value, either to you or to someone else, or both. 

Having enough time and space to do what we do best is essential. When we don’t get this, we feel frustrated, anxious and depressed in most areas of our life.

Let’s sharpen the pencil.

So far, we’ve been talking about important, but pretty squishy stuff. What we’re really looking for is something we can count on; some clear connection between our best self and the way we spend our time.

But let’s ask the question: have we taken the time to define what our best self at work really looks like? Probably not.

What’s missing is precision. We haven’t actually taken the time to define for ourselves what actually gives us that feeling of meaning and purpose, or how to carve out the time necessary for it. We just know the bad feeling when we don’t get enough of the good stuff. 

So let’s take a moment to define what makes us feel good about ourselves in the context of work.

What are the elements?

There is a fairly predictable mix of common elements which, when mixed together in proper measure, allow us to feel good about our work. Here are a few of those essential elements:

  • Creativity
  • Autonomy
  • Challenge
  • Identity
  • Pride

All of which add up to one essential element, perhaps the secret sauce, of satisfaction: 


When your Work matches your ability to express what you care about most, self-respect is not only possible, it’s probable.


What is your Work?

What, then, when you do it well, makes you feel great? It may or may not be what you do for a living. As long as you know what it is, and make time for progress in your Work every day, you will be on your way to less frustration with your work.

For example: you could decide that your Work is to be a great partner, or a great parent. Or, it could be fine art, or leadership, or flying a plane. If that is your Work, and you are making time for it, you will experience self-respect, even if things are less than perfect at your day job.


The takeaway:

If you want to feel less frustrated at work, define your Work and make time to make steady progress at what you do best.

Read more.

More like this?

Frustrated at work? I can help you define and make time for your best Work.

And you have a couple of options for your next step. You could contact me and describe what you’re going through. And I’ll be in touch with suggestions. Or you can book a free session to make a time to get together and talk it over in person. Either way, I’m here to help you focusovercome resistance, and get moving again.

Get focused and Get moving.