Sunday, 6 November 2011
Getting rid of work stress...(mostly)
Everybody is stressed these days, and it's understandable too, it's a challenging world out there. But work related stress is right up there for most people as the biggest obstacle to a more enjoyable life, and they face it every working day. Given enough time, it will kill you. Here I offer you some simple solutions to get red of work stress....(mostly).
Let's have an example of how stress can affect your day. And let's have one of the biggies. Your job. And we'll start at the beginning.
Now I'm no angel, I'm guilty of every one of the faults in the scenarios I will outline here, but the difference is knowing what you're doing wrong, and doing something about it.
You get up, late. I know you do, because I do it too. You're already on the wrong foot, and it's going to spiral downwards from there so this brings us nicely to number 1.
(1) Get up earlier!!
Old sayings like 'The early bird catches the worm' haven't been around for eons just because they sound profound, it is because they work. Get up early and toddle off to the bathroom, and spend 5 minutes sitting on the edge of the bath, or the toilet, or the floor, and yes, you guessed it meditate!! Think of your day, and think it through in stages, where you're going, what you're going to be doing, and what you want to achieve. Now you're ahead! You've planned it before anyone else can plan it and change your day. Now I promise you you're going to go quietly downstairs, relaxed, serene, and on top of things. I'm telling you this because of all the very best days I've ever had, getting up earlier was the first thing I did.
The next thing you do will be your morning commute. You probably get in the car, immediately start it up, and drive off yes? well we better look at number 2 then!
(2) Don't just turn the key and drive off!!
If you drive to work (study the alternatives) when you get in your car, sit there for a minute, and take some deep breaths, unclench your jaw, drop your shoulders, imagine your driving instructor is with you in the passenger seat, or if you didn't like him or her, then imagine all the people you love the most are in the car, and they all have a two foot spike screwed to the seat in front of them or the dash board, pointing at their heart. Because that's the pain they're going to feel if you get this wrong and have a bad accident. Don't imagine for a second that all that bull the salesman gave you about airbags, seat belt tensioners, ABS, traction control, and your car being a safe, womb like environment etc is true, because it isn't. I spent 20 years as a Firefighter, and I'm telling you otherwise. Dare to disagree?
So relax, slow down, and back off. The speed limit isn't a challenge, you drive to the conditions.
Enjoy the drive, and here's another thing, it doesn't matter if you're late!! obviously don't be late every day, but if you're late by accident, don't rush, your job is not worth it. And if your manager disagrees, then he or she isn't worth it either. One life remember. And it's not theirs. So now we arrive at 3.
(3) Work smarter, not harder!!
Rushing around like a whirlwind, and getting stressed, does not make you look busy, professional, productive, clever, or talented. It makes you look like a tit.
When did you last see anyone who is very successful, rush? they have other people rush around for them!, they have an air of calm, and they manage stress. They work like they don't have to. All that stuff your parents told you about working hard is rubbish too. If they had said work smarter, you might have had a chance! You can work as hard as you like, all you will get is tired. Remember, your goal, is to arrive home with enough energy to enjoy your family. You are working for them, not for your house, or your car, or your TV, or your other trappings. They're all just tomorrows skip fodder waiting to happen. So work enough to arrive home relaxed, alive (beware that drive again, you're now doing it after 8 hours work) and with pots of energy to spend living. You are not your job, it is a means to an end, and it doesn't define you. You're not IT manager Bob, or Policeman Dave, or Baker Sue, your just Bob, Dave and Sue. Be them to the full! As I said earlier, I'm not an angel, I have faults too, and we all have 'off' days, but if you know where you're going wrong, and take steps to change it, you're on your way! do it better every day. Here we are at the final step. Step 4.
(4) Accept it, change it, or leave it!!
If you find yourself in a situation you're not happy with, then Accept it, change it, or leave it. These are the only things you have the power to do. If you're going to accept the situation, then accept it fully, it takes all the power out of the bad situation. If you're going to change it, then change it, now. Don't do it half heartedly. If you're going to leave it, then leave. Burn your bridges and get out, and again, don't do it with half an effort, go for it. Nobody is going to kill you, and you're not going to starve!
You can moan all you want about a given situation until the paint peels from the walls, but unless you accept it, change it, or leave it, you're wasting your time.
As a final note. Never, ever switch on the news in the car on the way to work! what good can it ever do for you? As an experiment do it this next working week, give it a go. News is just a series of negative hammer blows, that will have you arriving in reception, angry, tired, and demoralised. Listen to some music instead! or try a comedy CD, it really works.