AT SOME point, you may find your work and personal life less satisfying.

What you can do when you find yourself running on the spot is to zero in on the things you can change, such as your routine, your work attitude and your life goals.

Yesterday, we talked about changing your routine to include more activities that are meaningful to you.

Today, we discuss how you can re-energise your work life and focus on what's really important in life.

Work smart

You spend a substantial portion of your life at work. With e-mail, mobile phones, laptops and PDAs, is it any wonder that you feel as if you are working all the time?

Though the average workweek is 44 hours, many executives put in much more - and the extra hours do not include commuting time.

With most spouses and partners working and balancing careers with the needs of the family, life in general is stressful.

But there is more to work than the daily grind. So, if you are going to spend an average of eight to 12 hours on work-related activities, find ways to enjoy them.

Why not make that time as professionally and personally rewarding and fulfilling as possible?

You have nothing to lose and a great deal to gain by spending time exploring your interests, values and options.

Choose to have a positive attitude towards work.

There are no perfect jobs because there are no perfect people. It is unrealistic to believe that the grass will be greener in another department or company if it means doing the same work. If you dislike the work, it is your responsibility to find a job you enjoy.

Job satisfaction involves being committed to consistently carrying out your duties and responsibilities well. Remember that work is a prime developer of your character and ability to successfully interact with others in society.

Never stop learning and acquiring new skills. Don't wait for your company to provide opportunities for professional development.

Instead, take responsibility for your own training and career growth by investing time and resources in further education and skill acquisition.

Work smart as well as hard. When you work hard, you use your whole being - mind, body and spirit. Although a task may require a lot of effort, you will be satisfied when you accomplish it.

Get your priorities right

Simplifying your life involves focusing on what is truly important to you. Connect with your values, make sure you activities align with them, and then use your time to accomplish more.

Bestselling author and self-development guru Stephen Covey relates a story about a man who was racing to get up a ladder, only to find it was leaning on the wrong wall.

Determining your values is making sure your ladder is leaning against the right wall. You will find climbing the ladder of life much easier.

* Determine what is important to you. What makes you tick? What is of greatest worth to you?

If a large bank balance and lots of luxury are your highest priorities, then you may try working more hours rather than fewer.

But if values like security and time with family are of greater worth, then the workaholic approach may not get you where you want to go.

* Evaluate your activities. Once you know which wall you want to climb, look at your activities in the harsh light of your values and see if your ladder is getting you there.

It can be a real eye-opening experience to go through your daily planner for the past month and see how many activities actually moved you closer to your goals and fitted in with your values.

* Learn to be more efficient. You can do two different tasks at the same time. Here is a simple method that I learnt:

Let's say I need to run to the store for something for a project. I take along one of my children, and we will often stop for a snack along the way.

It gives me time to talk and connect with him and takes virtually no more time than I would have spent anyway.

* Do not take too many things for granted. This is another trick to put back some meaning in your life.

Recognise that there are people who help you and make your life easier.

For example, thank your spouse for refolding the clothes in your cupboard or cleaning out the junk in the storeroom.

Think about the town council workers in your community who quietly and efficiently maintain your parks and keep your streets clean, and send them a note of thanks.

Practising gratitude and being aware of what others do for you is a good way to keep yourself grounded.

You make people happy and feel good about yourself and that's a win-win situation.

These are some simple ways to breathe new verve into your work and home lives. They require a little effort but have far-reaching results.