A Calmer You, by Sonal Kalra: Is work working you up?
I have a friend who has always been a subject of envy, because of how happy and content she seemed, with her work life. But when I met her yesterday after a month, I was quite taken aback to notice the change in her. ‘I’m ready to quit my job. I feel so totally burned out,’ she signed, looking drained out and not in the least like the person who used to look forward to each working day with a smile. A little prodding revealed that some nasty office politics coupled with a sudden surge in workload was making her feel exhausted and annoyed all the time. Does that ever happen to you too, that you get up in the morning everyday and fervently wish it was Sunday? Oh, stop nodding you all! This wasn’t directed at the perennially lazy souls who believe they are doing the universe a favour by turning up at work daily. I meant those who otherwise enjoy their job but experience phases of disillusionment — when everything seems wrong and the work routine seems overwhelming. This feeling, actually, is mostly our own doing. In a mindless bid to get to the work, we sometimes don’t realise when the work gets to us. Here are five things that contribute to ruining your peace of mind at work.
Trying to be a super fast mail: While at work, most of us get an email every few minutes... and some, a few emails every minute. And those who keep hearing that monster squish sound when a new mail/message comes, do not have a respite from mail even when they may be answering the call of nature. But just because you’ve got mail, it’s not important to leave whatever you are doing and be in a hurry to read or respond to it right away. Finish the work at hand in peace. If it is Earth-shattering urgent, the sender will call you.
Reacting, rather than acting: In challenging corporate environments of today, everyone seems to be on edge, and heated exchanges over official matters are not uncommon. Avoid getting into a vicious war of words and focus on what needs to be done. And importantly, don’t take it personally. Emotions are not meant for the workplace. A reader once suggested a tip for those who have the tendency to instantly respond to provocative emails with anger. Draft your mail, but don’t send it. Wait till the next morning, read the draft and remove the needless emotion from the mail before sending. Now that’s being objective — and wise.
Getting into office politics: This one’s a sure shot calmness killer. Unless your place of work happens to be the Congress or BJP headquarters, I would say chuck the politics. Focus just on the work and avoid needless group dynamics and bitching sessions. Ever heard of the headphones? Put them on.
Constant cribbing: Don’t keep grumbling and complaining about work pressure, a ‘bossy’ boss or a low salary. Have you noticed that most people in front of whom you grumble about these things have absolutely no power to change anything? Then why waste your energy and time? Take a break and go out for a walk instead. You’ll come back loving your job.
Sonal Kalra prayed for peace of mind at work. Boss gave her a piece of mind. Such a life. Contact her at sonal.kalra @hindustantimes.com or facebook.com/sonalkalra official. Follow on Twitter @sonalkalra
Note: On readers demand, this is a rerun of a previously published piece