How Many of Us Can Truly Say we Feel Relaxed at Work?
How would it be to feel relaxed at work?
I recently held a workshop with an awesome bunch of business owners and managers. There, we discussed the idea of a ‘Dream Work Day’. In addition to attendees outlining what they were doing, I encouraged them to think about how they felt throughout the day. And this, as ever, was an illuminating exercise to complete.
There were some common themes in their explanation of their dream days that I think we can all relate to. Feeling in control, clear-headed, calm, energised, enthusiastic. Even joyful!
Isn’t this the epitome of productive, energising and rewarding work? And isn’t this how we want to be the majority of the time?
Here are a few thoughts on the culprits that obstruct us from work nirvana. These are the energy-sappers and stressors in our day.
We Think Too Much.
I know this seems mad. But here’s a scenario I faced routinely until I figured it was not serving me. I would arrive at my desk on Monday morning and sit down coffee in hand. But then I’d think, ‘right, what am I doing again?’. Familiar?
Remember, the morning is some of our most productive time in the day. I realised I was squandering over an hour each morning just figuring out what I needed to do. I’d look in my email – and lose myself there for a while. Then I’d think, ‘right, I really need to make a start’. All the while, the best part of my day was passing me by!
HOW Solution: Plan to complete five tasks by noon and avoid email first thing in the morning.
I didn’t plan my weeks ahead so being focused was nearly impossible. Happily ignoring the quote from Peter Drucker, ‘What gets measured, gets managed’, I didn’t measure what I was doing.
This is a double whammy: 1. you don’t effectively execute a plan and 2. you don’t get to review (or ‘measure’) your achievements! This can leave you feeling stressed, under pressure, deflated and your mind a little foggy about how you are progressing.
HOW Solution: Plan your weeks ahead and have clear weekly objectives. Reflect on these at the end of the week AND reward yourself for completing them.
Simple Tasks and Quick Wins.
I hate to break it to you but your brain has a hard-wired preference for simple, one-step tasks and quick wins over deep complex thinking. It just likes those more.
HOW Solution: Make sure you break down big tasks into the smallest executable action. Then your ‘simple-task-loving’ brain can just crack on with getting those quick wins it loves!
Your Tasks this Week:
- Plan to complete five tasks by noon and avoid email first thing in the morning.
- Plan your week ahead and have clear weekly objectives.
- Make sure you break down big tasks into the smallest executable action
Give it a try this week!