Monday, August 17, 2009

Work: Distress or Eustress?

It’s Sunday night and you’ve been out with your family to watch Ice Age 3 at the nearest cinema. Everyone enjoyed it…"Oh…It’s such a cute movie!”; however, what’s going on in your mind is “I hope I am ready with all the data for tomorrow’s weekly meeting…or infact, I think, a better idea is that something happens and I do not have to go to work tomorrow!” Does going to work really scare you? Does the thought of sitting at your workstation stress you? If yes, then maybe you need to pay attention to who you’re talking to and what’s the language that you have been using. It may be that you’ve picked up a pattern of thinking and expressing your stress which in turn reinforces the negative feelings you have when you think about work.

Well, let me help you by explaining it in a simpler way. Think about how you learnt a language in school. You learnt it by listening to people speaking and then remembering how it sounded. The next step was repeating the sentences or phrases over and over, then after that you associate which context to use them in. Depending on your enthusiasm, some of this would have been easy and other bits harder. Perhaps being able to order your favorite burger in McDonalds is more motivating than learning about a particular country’s political science.

Let’s relate it to our work structure now…

If you have been socializing at work with people who are cynical or pessimistic about everything, then you are likely to subconsciously soak-up their phrases and words. Gradually, you realize that your language patterns have started sounding like theirs. This further is reinforced when you unconsciously, mentally start collecting ‘examples’ of things / events to prove the negatives so you can be included in every conversation. This is how the cycle of feeling negative and then stressed because of these feelings continues.

Take baby steps to make the difference felt…

1. As soon as you wake up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror and say, “You look absolutely gorgeous. Go and make your day”

2. Decide and pick up one task in the morning that you would like to accomplish by the end of the day. Let yourself imagine doing the task, and then savor the moment of its completion. Then once you’ve arrived at work it will be a little like deja vu except that you’ll have pre-programmed yourself to be more productive.

3. Start listening to something positive in the morning on your way to work. Music works like magic for most working people. In case you are listening to something on the radio, ensure the topic covered is upbeat or maybe amusing.

4. Mentally check your language to yourself and when you’re talking to your office mates.

5. Analyze: “Do you work for the company?” Or “Do you work with the company?” The latter will give you a feeling of belongingness with the organization that you work for. You start feeling that you play an important role (direct / indirect) to get more business into the organization. You feel accountable and responsible.

6. Set yourself an ambitious yet achievable goal that will push you to new levels.

7. Build the people around you. It will make them happy and in return you gain titanic respect. In fact, even praise them when they perform well. Give as much attention to the positive – strengths, achievements and qualities as you do to the problems, challenges and mistakes.

8. Reflection: Good, bad or indifferent we can always learn something. Write down everything you achieved at work last year, however small. Then reflect on what you learnt from the things that didn't go according to plan.

9. Offer to take a coworker out to lunch, stop by to say hello or share a funny email. Having friends at work will make your day go by in a hurry. At the very least, find someone with who you can indulge in some ‘constructive gossip’.

10. Get an adrenalin rush with a trip to the gym after work or join a sports club with few close colleagues with who you can spend an hour or so playing tennis or golf on the weekend. Stick around to enjoy some adult beverages afterwards.

11. In case you are feeling underappreciated or looked over, schedule some time with your supervisor to discuss where you stand. Find out how he or she feels about your quality of work and what they’d like to see from you in the future. This can provide some positive affirmation and guidance about your role within the organization. Majorly, it keeps you connected with your manager.

12. Don’t be afraid to ask for your fair share of raise. Consider your overall impact on the company and what you’ve done that merits more pay. Point out how your actions have benefited the company with effort and money saved.

13. Keep a check on how efficiently your processes are running.

14. Overworked? If you have too much on your plate, unload. Don’t hold on to too much work just because of silly pride. Ask coworkers to lend a hand. Remember, this works both ways. Be prepared to pitch in when it’s time to return the favor.

15. A mentor can be a great resource at work. They know the company’s terrain well and can guide you on a path to victory. Ideally, you should choose a mentor who has achieved success you’d like to emulate.

16. Reorganize your workplace. A clean desk will do wonders for lessening anxiety.

17. If you’re stuck doing repetitive tasks all day, treat them like a game. Time yourself and try to beat your personal best. This will both challenge and entertain.

18. Avoid foods that are loaded with carbohydrates or sugars. Sure, they taste great, but they will bring down your energy level. Dehydration can cause headaches and leave you feeling lethargic. Staying hydrated will help you feel better and fight fatigue.

19. Leave your chair and walk for a minute after every 30 minutes of sitting. During this time walk around and say a hello your colleagues. Take the time to hand-deliver a document. Use every opportunity to get up and get some exercise.

20. Don’t sabotage tomorrow’s work by pulling up all night. Remember, sleeping well will enhance your productivity at work.

Remember, you can either make your tomorrow full of zeal and positivity or you can crib about the traffic, your manager, your colleagues, your salary, and the list can go on and on and on…


1 comment:

  1. I am writing a book titled "Wow! Monday Morning Again!!". Your views would be helpful.