5 easy hacks to find your bliss at work
Do less - Dream - Divide - Declutter - Delegate
Some people have been fortunate enough to get their ideal job while others still haven’t quite found the perfect fit. Either way, whether you love or dread to go to work, whether you work from home or commute for 2 hours to get there, whether you’re the best at what you do or are just figuring it out, one thing is common for everybody out there trying to make a living: there comes a time when you feel like you may have bitten off too much.
Here is a quick runthrough some ideas that will help you keep cool under pressure. Feel free to pick and choose whatever works for you, and to adapt these to better fit your style.
1. Shrink down the to-do list
We know you’re a superhero (or heroine) and you can do those 48 things you planned for the day. There is however a difference between doing them and doing them well. There’s another difference between doing them well and keeping your mental health after that. In order to keep on top of all you should do first up you should prioritize your tasks (what is important, what is under a deadline and so on). Then you can try to group them based on similarities (they require the same toolset, they take place in the same location and so on). Once you have everything in order simply start to eliminate things that are not absolutely necessary. Track your daily meetings using a room booking software and simply look at your daily agenda. Are all those meetings relevant? Will they end up attracting new business or boosting existing ventures? Are you actually needed in that meeting? If not perhaps you need to skip that. Just click decline and you have freed up a half hour for better pursuits.
2. Allow yourself to wander off (physically and mentally)
Sometimes sitting at your desk for a full 10 to 12 hours can feel like being trapped inside a cage. Obviously you should get up and move about for a few minutes. But why not take it a step further? Where would it be easiest for you to focus on a tricky task? The lunchroom? The parking lot? On a bench in a nearby park? Just pick up your essentials and go there until you your batteries have recharged and those creative juices started flowing again. You should also try to learn how to procrastinate productively. Let’s get honest here. We all indulge in a little channel surfing at work. Whatever weapon of choice you have (FB, Youtube, and so on) you are always left with a slightly uncomfortable feeling that you wasted your time on things that you can’t even remember half an hour later. Why not surprise yourself instead and try going boldly to where you have not gone before. Read some tech news. Learn a cross-stitch technique. Take a virtual tour of the Versailles. It doesn’t matter as long as it gives you some fresh new content that you would not have normally exposed yourself to.
3. Divide and conquer
Concentration is great as long as you are aware you cannot keep it up forever. Ever since Henry Ford’s contribution to the world of leisure, by cutting down the work week, people have become aware that more doesn’t necessarily mean better. Recent studies have shown that the optimal work-rest balance would be 52-17 minutes. You could use output tracking apps to see the exact time you spend working, resting and your daily output. You could even schedule meetings with yourself where you can use those 17 minutes to meditate or to evaluate your daily goals. You could even schedule stress time, where you allow yourself to freak out over a seemingly insurmountable task for an uninterrupted 17 minutes in order to be able to fully focus on it once you get back to work. Whatever works for you will definitely help alleviate the pressure and will improve not only your productivity but also your general well-being.
4. Streamline your day
Ancient wisdom (at least since 2015) dictates that where there is a need there’s probably an app for that. Why should you weigh yourself down with details and memos and sticky notes when you can defer all this to a scheduling app, a reminders app, a notes app and so on. There’s even an app that reminds you to drink more water throughout the day, so there’s one less thing to worry about. You should create the habit of using these smart tools at the beginning and end of your work days in order to remove the pressure or the embarrassment of having to admit that you simply forgot certain things.
Under this same heading we can also point out that multitasking isn’t the end-all solution to everything that people think it is. In fact quite the opposite has been proven time and time again. Therefore by cutting it out of your process would not only remove some of the stress that comes along with it, but it will improve your productivity and your overall time-management.
5. And last but not least, never underestimate the power of asking for help
As John Donne once pointed out, no man is an island. We’re more like part of an archipelago made up of all the people around us. So, with that in mind, we should never feel ashamed or afraid to ask for help when we feel overwhelmed by the task at hand. Some people perceive asking for help as a weakness but it should be instead viewed as a strength that allows us to not only assess a given situation in an objective manner, but also to identify the most appropriate solution, which in this case takes the shape of somebody else more suited for the task.
All in all these few suggestions give you just a starting point in your quest for a better, more fulfilled work life. If you choose to go down this path and expand on it with other possible solutions it is entirely up to you. But who among us would deny themselves a better way of doing things? I know, I wouldn’t!