You wake up with sky high aspirations in the morning. You prepare the breakfast, get the kids ready for school and groom yourself to be a rock star at the office. You utter to yourself, “What a great day it is”. Everything goes as planned until you reach your workstation. As soon as your work day starts, misery starts pouring in. You are surrounded by dilemmas, pressure and a pile of mismanaged work.
This happens every day, without any fail. Admit it.
You wonder when the start at home is so amazing, why the rest of the day turns out to be a sucker? What are you doing wrong? Why do you feel so miserable at your workplace?
The sad part, the answer is still an alien to you. Before I get down to the root cause, I would like to summarize in a single line, to give you some relief about not knowing the actual cause,
A workplace is never a place for fun. All it can give you is stress, depression, misery and a life that suck.
Wait a minute friend. This is what your conditioning has taught us. I still remember as a kid, when I used to play the whole day. The elder people said, “Make merry now. Once you start working, you are bound to suffer.” Once we graduate and start working, this impression lasts for a lifetime. In the training sessions, it is taught that you should take your job seriously because you get paid for it.
There is no denying the fact. But the ideal way is to take your job sincerely, not seriously. Serious things don’t last long as they depend on extrinsic motivational factors like pressure to perform, higher incentives and luring to get a lucrative lifestyle. Once these factors vanish in a corner of your mind, the “get serious” thought bursts up like a prick on a balloon.
So, it’s time you start taking your work sincerely and never get serious about it. If you are having a tough time loving your job, I have something really good in the Suggested reading section,
Suggested Reading: How to Love Your Job Like a Boss
Now, before you scroll through the 25 non-negotiable tips for a magnificent day at work, I would like to draw your attention to certain things which you should avoid before you start your day at the workplace. If you follow it one at a time, you can assure yourself of a better start at work.
Things you should NOT do before heading for your workplace,
Read a Newspaper- I have seen this habit among millions of people. They carry a newspaper during their commute and browse through the business page. Crowdfunding, stock market crashes, take overs, layoffs, a company buying a trillion dollar share in a firm. This is what my understanding of a business page says. What’s the take away is, it stuffs your mind with negative emotions and a sense of insecurity. It forces your mind to think that the world is really bad and to survive, you need to work 25 hours a day
Check Emails during commute- I can understand that your job is critical and demands a mailbox configured in your smartphone. I am an IT professional receiving 300 + email a day, and the servers might crash anytime. But, until and unless it is unavoidable, do not check your emails during the travel to office. Your phone becomes a stress factory and half your day is spoiled, even before you have started working. Click Here for some powerful ways to email management.
Discuss Office matters while travelling- Yet another stress booster. You start talking about the happenings and can’t figure out where to stop. You discuss about sales, promotions, salary and end up thinking that you haven’t achieved anything as compared to others. This sucks out 80% of your energy as you feel underpaid or less privileged. Don’t think what is going to happen in the office today. Keep it as a surprise bag.Practicing the above tips is just half the battle. The remaining half will be accomplished with the tips that I am going to share below. I won’t suggest you to practice all of them at once as it isn’t feasible. But, the techniques will gradually improve the quality of your work at the office,
1- Reach Office well in Advance (Reason isn’t the common one)
It’s a good habit to reach your workplace in advance. You might think that you will leave a bad impression if you show up late. But, reaching your workplace in advance is much more than flattering or annoying your boss or colleagues. It gives you the required time to settle down. It allows you to set the right frame of mind for the actions you need to take during the whole day.
Just imagine, You just reached and start working on your laptop.
Or, You reach and keep your bag aside. You settle down on the chair and allow your body temperature or sweat to cool down first. Then you take a deep breath. Till your laptop or workstation is switched on, your senses will calm down and put you in the right gear for an ideal start. There will be no rush, no hassles.
Which one would you prefer?
2- Practice Clear Desk Policy
The environment we work in has a direct impact on your productivity. If the surroundings are cluttered, your motivation is killed with a silent scream. Although, many organizations practice this policy, but you need to understand the need first. It is for you. If your desk is neat and clean, it will give you positive vibes which will enhance your productivity. If it is smelly and clogged, you will rather run away.
So, put your bag on the right place. Take a moment to throw unnecessary things such as eatables, paper into the dustbin. If you need help cleaning it, ask for it, but it is important to get this right. If you get it wrong, you are setting yourself for a cluttered mind and a below ordinary day.
Image: Asa Wilson at commons.wikimedia.org
3- Watch Your Moods (and don’t let it swing)
Your job might require client interactions, which are critical to the company’s business. You may require to prepare slides, reports and power point presentations. You might also feel afraid to attend meetings.
The only trick is to get along the moment.
That’s it. You are all set. If you feel sleepy or demotivated, say to yourself that after working hard today, you will get ample amount of sleep.
If you need help, ask a colleague. Share your thoughts with the ones you trust. Go in front of the mirror and tell yourself a million times,
“I am good enough”.
4- Manage emails and set priorities
Email handling could be a pain when you have 500+ emails to act. Do not get unconscious with the pile of emails. Say to yourself,
It will give you the required energy to go through the emails. To ease out the task, ask your colleagues if some dead important task is pending and write it down on your notepad first.
While reading emails, trash those which aren’t important to you. If you want to reply to an email, either send a reply as soon as you read it or you can schedule it as well. We often forget to address emails, if we leave it for later. Make full use of the schedule email feature provided by email providers. Make a different slot for listening to your voice mails.
Once you are done, make a simple bullet points of to-do-list and start working in full flow. Make sure you take breaks every 1 or 1.5 hours to relax your stressed nerves.
5- Warm Up Before you Run the Race
What conventional knowledge says, attempt the most difficult task first to ease off the tensions of the rest of the day.
I won’t suggest you to practice the conventional knowledge. Take one or two knocks off the socks task (easy) and get it done quickly. Celebrate the accomplishment. When you haven’t warmed up, you can’t win the race. You are bound to have fatigue.
Once you gather the required “Feel Good” factor, now attack the alligators (difficult tasks). If you feel low in energy, switch to an easier task and come back to the hefty ones. It is very important to switch. Once you start practicing it, you will become an expert. I know you are amazing.
Image: Becky at flickr.com
6- Listen to the Right Music
Music is the greatest healer. But it has a tendency to wound you, if you get it wrong. While taking breaks, listen to pumping and uplifting music. Stay away from sad solos. Chances are high, you might end up mixing the music with a situation you are going through at the office and scorch yourself of all the positivity.
Listen to music which can soothe your senses or which can bring life back in you for the remaining day at work. Never let a break ruin your day at work.
7- Don’t get affected easily
If you are more relationship oriented, it might hurt you to the core. There are times, when our close friends at work escalate our bad work or you get a tight scold from the superiors. This accounts for 99% of the reasons of having a bad day at work.
You have to accept that it’s a part of the job. Just like you are defending your role, your colleagues are trying to do the same. Do talk with them and confront them. But, once you empty all your emotions, be friends with them again. Forget Everything. This is a part of the work culture, where such things happen on a daily basis. If you start getting affected by each one of them, you will start feeling paralyzed.
If you think your superiors have a better life than you, you are mistaken. They have accountability and it’s a pressurized stream which starts with the upper management and ends up inside the junior management. We all are working under pressure and it is perfectly fine.
8- Be a Little Proactive
It might sound to be tough initially, but it has the power to transform your work productivity and rewarding you with the perfect career. Not only you will achieve a sense of accomplishment, you will have the best monetary benefits and you might get awarded as the most valuable asset to the company. But, how?
You have to be proactive. You have to sense the results before they happen.
All you need is to sharpen your analytic skills. While other people are busy carrying the mundane tasks, take some time off and think how can you streamline the work which you are assigned. How can you add value to the company? Think of those traits which will distinguish you from others. Brainstorm a little every day for 15 minutes and present it to a reliable person.
Never beat around the bush and talk in numbers. Make presentations, reports and handouts. Put all the knowledge of excel sheets, bar diagrams and pie-charts to test. Analyze, analyze and analyze until you strike the cord.
9- Do some tasks in Advance
It’s a little different from above. It is all about doing a considerable chunk of work today, to ease off your tensions the next day. Being proactive is about trying to add value to the company and this tip will reduce the volume of work you have to do. So, you will feel less burdened at the start of the day, which is a good enough reason to be an amazing day at work.
10- Empty the bag at the Office Entrance
Hey, I am not asking you to empty all your belongings on the office gate. I am asking you to empty the bag of your mind full of anxiety, worries and tensions. Once you step out of the office, don’t think what happened today and what will happen tomorrow.
I know it’s easy to say and very difficult to implement. But trust me, this is the only way you can have a perfect end to the day at work. Think about other activities like cooking, having a walk around or going on a long drive with your loved one.
Accept that the tensions at the workplace will not leave you. They are like skin. So, it’s a better idea to look through the good things yet to come after a tiring day at the office. You have all the capabilities within, you are just a bit lazy to explore the truth. But, you will get all the help at Great Life Ahead and that’s a promise.
People end up their lives gasping for breath amidst the office tensions. Of Course, money is important and we have to work hard for it. But, shouldn’t we take some steps when it starts affecting our health and relationships? You just consume your life running around stuff which you don’t need and truly neglect the essential things around you. Your life, your family and children, your relationships. So, the above list is just a wake up call that might not end up all tensions for you, but will equip you with the courage to strike the perfect work-life balance. Go ahead and implement some, and do share your experience in the comments section.
Need Your Thoughts Now,
Do any of the tips mentioned above seem familiar to you?
Have you tried to implement some of them but failed?
What are your top 3 challenges at the workplace?
Can you become our new success story by taking the remote control of your emotions?
Please share your valuable experiences and comments. Great Life Ahead needs you to flourish and transform into a life sharing community.
Have a Great Life Ahead.