“Really? The way I think happens all by itself.”
If you believe that you don’t create your thoughts, then you will suffer needlessly. Now might be a good time to do some reflecting on where you are, where you want to be and the areas of your life which you can directly improve, such as:
Changing up your daily routine
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.– Aristotle
Get to work earlier
This is one of the ways that you have control and could make a difference. Many people use this extra time before there are any distractions and interruptions to focus their mind and set their mood for the day. In sports, athletes have a “pre-shot” routine that puts them in a mental space suited for high-performance. Consider doing this before things get chaotic.
Plan your day ahead of time
This shouldn’t be news for you. However, the higher up or more important you become in an organization the more important it becomes to carve out time each day to reflect and plan for the next business day. Without a clear plan, chances are you’ll waste a lot of time “figuring out” what to do next.
Step away from your desk
Lunch and coffee breaks shouldn’t be taken literally. Many people don’t eat or drink coffee. Utilize these valuable moments to inspire yourself or someone else. These are opportunities, not just routine times to eat and drink. Taking a walk or stepping out of the office can clear your mind, refresh you and help you come back to your desk ready to take on the rest of the day. If you’re a reader, keep inspirational books in a drawer.
Try meditation (or your version of it)
Meditating is also a great option to help refocus and reinvigorate yourself. Recapture your energy if you’re running on neutral. If you’re too extroverted for this, okay. If not, you know that meditation is NOT doing nothing for 20 minutes. Shut off your mind, one way or another. This will keep you sharp. It’s about calming your mind and shutting out your environment. So if you’re not mindful in this way, perhaps you need to join a group for some excitement. Either way, don’t overlook this one.
We’re spending more and more time at the “office.” Right, especially if we’re concerned about moving up in the organization. We work insane hours in high stress, thankless environments. There is a particular rush of energy that comes with this type of work, but that soon fades into a sort of mental exhaustion and in some cases, depression. Don’t let this happen to you. It will cause further conflict, stress, and generally create many problems in your life.
Consider getting “career coaching” for yourself. Regardless of where you work on the planet, you can access a Psychologist who can provide you with assessments that will encourage you and your career movement. Consult your Psychologist.
Limit Your Hours
If you have some level of control over your work schedule, one of the best things you can do is to start limiting your hours at work. Start by shaving 15-30 minutes off of your end time, or come in later. Use this extra time to do one of the things listed in this article.
Another way to limit your hours is by not wasting as much time at work. Many people goof off at work thinking that they are relieving stress. But, at the end of the day, they’re still at work and longer than they need to be. Instead of the extra long chat with the co-worker about how miserable your work environment is, use that time to finish off a project and go home earlier. The less you are at work, the less stress you take home with you.
I’m not saying that you should sneak out of work. With the state of the economy as it is, I wouldn’t want you to lose your job. But, wherever possible, see if you can come in later and leave earlier when you can. Another thing to aim for is to leave work at work. Don’t take work home with you unless you need to. Try not to even think about work once you’ve left. I know this is very difficult for many people, but with practice, it will become second nature and your refreshed mind will thank you. One way to take your mind off work is, of course, to meditate.
Take Up a Hobby
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a hobby outside of work. As for me, I run a second business, play sports like golf and run, and garden in the warmer months. Whatever your hobby may be, make sure it’s something you thoroughly enjoy. It should be something that takes your mind off work and other worries. This may seem obvious, but when you don’t have an outlet for releasing steam, you end up becoming more frustrated and depressed.
The first thing you should do is come up with a list of all of the things that interest you. My list might look something like this:
- Play golf
- Play tennis
- Develop programs to help people relieve stress
- Play video games
Your list will undoubtedly be more interesting and have a lot more items on it. There is only so much free time in the day though, so you need to pick a few that you can realistically focus on. The last thing you want to do is create extra stress by spreading yourself too thin with your hobbies. One thing you can do, however, is to do all of them, but just at different times. You could focus on a couple of items at a time and then move on to another thing on your list. By going back and forth, you keep it all fresh and exciting.
Once again, the point of these hobbies is to relieve stress and take your mind off of work. If you find yourself stressed out because of your hobbies, it’s time to change the hobby or slow down with how much you’re trying to do.
Most of us have some vacation time accrued that we have grand plans for. We often think about the month we’ll take off for some adventurous vacation. We go on vacation, and it’s usually pretty good, but then we come back to work. After a few short days, it feels like we never went on the vacation in the first place!
Another strategy you might consider is to limit your larger leaves in favor of more frequent mini-vacations. By mini-vacation, I only mean taking a Friday and Monday off to make a long weekend for yourself. By doing these shorter vacations a lot more often, you give yourself regular doses of stress relief and relaxation which will help you stay energized and refreshed.
Consider getting “meditation coaching” for yourself or working with a Psychologist who can provide you with “hypnotherapy.” Consult your Psychologist.
Call it a Day
I hope you’ll be able to use some of these suggestions to help make your work life more bearable. It has certainly worked for me. Once you change how you view work and start to enjoy some hobbies outside of work, you’ll hopefully find yourself leading a more stress-free, happy life. You’ll be maintaining a healthier balance that will allow you to be more productive, get noticed, and feel a lot happier. I’ll leave you with the prayer they use at many support groups. You can replace the word “God” with whatever you believe in. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”