Love Your Job: It’s Good for You

Love Your Job: It’s Good for You

Have you ever found yourself unfocused, distracted…essentially spinning your wheels at work?

Even if you are passionate about your chosen career path, are there days during which you accomplish next to nothing?

You know the kind I mean–you start the day with high expectations and a solid plan to accomplish your goals, but come day’s end, you’ve got very little to show for your efforts. And worse, you feel like you’ve been working hard all day.

Many of us experience these days (or weeks.) Here’s the thing: even if you absolutely love what you do for a living, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed at work.

And, especially if you’re passionate about your work, you may not even realize it’s happening until you’re deep in the throes of the apathy and “brain fog” that comes along with workplace stress.

Left unchecked, workplace stress can have significant effects on your health, both mental and physical. And, when you don’t feel good, your perception on life can become corroded with that negative energy–effectively drawing more negativity into your life.

Is workplace stress a problem for you? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you consistently anxious, irritable or depressed?
  • Have you experienced a loss of interest in your work?
  • Are you having problems with sleeping? Fatigue?
  • Do you have trouble concentrating?
  • Do you have physical symptoms like muscle tension, headaches or stomach problems?
  • Do you find yourself withdrawing socially from friends and family?
  • Have you experienced a lower sex drive than usual?
  • Are you using alcohol or drugs to cope?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to make some proactive changes to promote positivity in your workplace and in your life. Doing so can reduce stress levels and ultimately eliminate many of these issues.

So what can you do?

Take Care of Your Body

An imbalanced diet can significantly contribute to “burn out.” And, ironically, in an effort to make their lives easier, busy people tend to make the unhealthiest choices. Many “convenience” foods are laden with fat, sodium and sugar, the effects of which will only make you feel more stressed. Eat healthy, whole foods as often as possible. Reduce or eliminate intake of alcohol and nicotine. Get at least a half hour of exercise, most days of the week, and get enough sleep. It won’t kill you to pull an all-nighter on occasion, but in general, keep to a regular sleep schedule.

Take Care of Your Soul

When you love your work, it’s easy to over-commit and over-schedule yourself. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed, and eventually to apathy and loss of interest. Be sure to schedule down-time, especially if you’re a perfectionist who can’t stop until the job’s done. Sometimes, you just have to step back and regenerate. Otherwise, you may end up getting nothing done.

Put yourself back on your priority list. Try one of these simple meditation techniques from Mind Tools to help you start gaining the focus you need.

Clean Your House

Sometimes, taking a couple of hours to do a little deep cleaning at your house can help you to release your stress. If you’ve got an office or cubicle at work, clean that too (or have it cleaned.) Many people believe that the condition of your home represents the condition of your mind. So, if it’s dusty and cluttered, you might be feeling a little blocked yourself. Do yourself a favor and spend a little time cleaning up around the house, and you may just find that your focus snaps back into place. You’d be surprised at how therapeutic a little cleaning can be.

Priorities and Planning

Sometimes, feeling overwhelmed is just the result of not having a plan. Especially when we love our work, many of us take on too many projects and before we know it–we’re spinning our wheels, getting nothing done. The best way to create a daily plan is to have a basic daily routine, but one that’s flexible enough to allow you to focus on the most pressing issues of the day.

So, for example, let’s say you’re a customer service rep who lives in a cubicle 40 hours a week. You arrive at work to find three voice mails–one from an angry client, one from someone who needs information (a potential client) and one from your boss inviting you to lunch to discuss what you suspect is a promotion. And, on top of that, you’ve got two co-workers waiting to ask you questions about their own customers.

Stressed yet? 

When you develop a basic schedule, you can prioritize these types of things in advance–so, in the case of our customer service rep, she might have a morning routine like this:

1. Deal with any co-workers waiting for me.
2. Return phone calls in order of urgency.
3. Check email.
4. Start taking calls from customers.

The point is that whatever your job, simply putting an outline of your day together can help you to reduce your stress levels at work by helping you to prioritize your tasks. Of course, there will be times when an urgent situation throws all of it out the window–and this is where you need to allow for flexibility.

Change Your Mind

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–it’s all in your head. Life is what you make it. So, if you’re feeling stressed at work, change your mind–change your perception of the situation. Instead of feeling angry and frustrated that you have to deal with so much, feel grateful that you have a job (and that you love what you do–if that’s the case.) It’s easy to forget why we chose our career paths when we feel overwhelmed by our day-to-day lives.

Don’t hate your job. Love it, even if it’s not ideal. Be grateful for it, and do it to the best of your ability. If the job you’re currently in isn’t right for you, start imagining yourself in one that is. Feel what it feels like, and then focus on having it. Always focus on the positives and the things for which you are grateful–and you’ll attract more of it into your life. Spend time hating your job and wishing away your time–and you can be sure to expect more things to hate in your life. Remember that like attracts like–so feel positive and happy and more good things and situations will be attracted into your life.

What do you think? Have you experienced workplace stress? How did you handle it?

Love Your Job: It’s Good for You

Bliss Mission: Passion and Professional Success

Today’s Affirmations

Professional DreamerMy passion for professional success is renewed each day.

I am born to succeed in a professional environment. And because I know it, I am passionate about it. I know I have the elements it takes to succeed in my career.

Each morning, I naturally regain the energy to take on all of work’s challenges. I feel equipped for everything that comes my way as I move through the day’s tasks. I love the thrill of work and the feeling of accomplishment in the workplace.

I see nothing as unattainable. I utilize my strengths of organization and emotional control to make it through even the roughest tasks.

I know how easy it is to get flustered when it seems there are more responsibilities than hours in the day. I can relate to feeling overwhelmed by all that I am tasked to do. But my approach is to organize in order of priority, and then take one step at a time. I recognize that I accomplish so much more when I pace myself.

At the end of each day, I have more successes because I create a professional and organized environment to work in.

Today, I can maintain the passion needed in my profession because I am driven to succeed. I love the feeling I get when I knock my tasks off one at a time and feel reinvigorated to take on even more tomorrow.

Ask Yourself These Self-Reflection Questions:

1. Are there skills I need to sharpen in my professional life?
2. Can I teach co-workers how to be passionate about their jobs?
3. Am I driven by financial reward?

Love Your Job: It’s Good for You

When, Why and How You Should Compromise

Employee of the Month Reserved Parking Sign

Sometimes, there’s no compromising. You shouldn’t compromise on your values, your beliefs, your personal health and well-being. But other times, there’s no reason not to compromise.

The fact is that the ability to compromise makes our lives and relationships run more smoothly, even if the concept sometimes seems challenging to implement.

Here are some of the advantages of compromising as well as some techniques for finding middle ground.

Good Reasons to Compromise

  • To advance the greater good. Making reasonable concessions paves the way for finding solutions to difficult conflicts. For example, if you’re a parent with physical custody, be generous about accommodating your ex-spouse’s schedule so your kids grow up with two loving parents.
  • To facilitate cooperation. Teamwork flourishes in an atmosphere of trust and respect. By demonstrating your commitment to the common good, you make it easier to work together at the office and at home.
  • To strengthen your relationships. Cultivating our relationships is usually far more valuable than coming out ahead on any particular decision. Build good will by welcoming your mother-in-law’s help in the kitchen even if you think it would be faster to do a task yourself.
  • To feel happier. Our happiness depends more on the way we view events than on the events themselves. As you practice accommodating others, you’ll find that becoming more flexible and generous feels good.

Techniques for Making Constructive Compromises

  • Uphold your core values and needs.Distinguish between compromising and copping out. Bullying is destructive for both parties, so preserve your own integrity and set healthy boundaries. Be firm and respectful about communicating your rights and desires.
  • Prioritize issues. Save your energy for the stuff that really matters. As long as your son is getting good grades and staying out of trouble, maybe you can live with him coming home from college with an eyebrow piercing.
  • Gather facts. Try bolstering your position by doing the research to back it up. If your boss tends to resist change, he may be more receptive to approving a new employee benefit if you document how it saves money and improves employee retention.
  • Empathize with the other person’s position. When you’re asking someone to meet you halfway, try to put yourself in their shoes. Listen closely to their concerns and goals so that you can address them.
  • Consider all your options. We all attach different values to the same things. If you and your partner have different standards for house cleaning, you may be able to work things out by hiring a cleaning service.
  • Express appreciation. Thank people for being willing to make trade-offs. Acknowledge the concessions they make and their contribution to creating more positive outcomes. For example, if your employees work through the weekend to meet a production deadline, ensure it gets noted in their annual review and encourage them to take compensating time off.
  • Stick to your word. Think carefully before making a serious compromise so you’ll feel confident that you can live with it. Proceeding slowly is better than making promises you may later regret. On the other hand, your loved ones will usually be willing to rethink an arrangement if it’s undermining your wellbeing.
  • Take accountability for your decision. Once you spell out the terms you can abide by, assume responsibility for the choices you’ve made. This will help you to avoid becoming resentful.
  • Wield power wisely. Even if you have the upper hand in an interaction, it’s usually best to seek an agreement that’s acceptable to everyone involved. Future situations are likely to run more smoothly and you’ll enjoy more peace of mind.

Learning to give and take helps everyone to wind up with more in the end. Stay true to yourself while being open to making accommodations that create better solutions in both your private and public lives.

What are some ways you have compromised? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.

 

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