Let's face it: it's HARD to always be "on" when you're at work.
No matter how much you try, even the best-laid plans and
schedules break down; sometimes it seems like all the forces
are against you. You can get discouraged, weary, frustrated
and unfocused. You can blame your boss, your spouse,
interruptions, computer crashes, too much work, too little
time...the list goes on and on.
When it comes right down to it, though, we each have to take
responsibility for our work environments. It's up to us to
create pride and excellence in our workplaces. We need to take
responsibility for our own productivity, morale, creativity,
motivation and sense of humor that we bring to our work.
You say "but stuff just happens that I have no control over."
That's true. "Stuff" will happen, so it's your job to come up
with disaster prevention and back-up plans. Interruptions and
snafus don't need to become setbacks. Lists and schedules make
the world go round. Be sure to prioritize, and take note of a
few things that could be realistically postponed, if need be.
Speaking of realism...be realistic in estimating how long it will
take you to do the tasks at hand.
Computer maintenance can make a big difference in minimizing
downtime. Regular virus scans, firewalls, defragmentation, and
file back-ups are crucial to maintaining computer health and
There are a few well-known organizational tips worth repeating.
My personal favorite is not touching mail more than once. I
sit down with the mail at my desk, waste basket on one side,
file cabinet at the other, and sticky notes in front of me.
If it's junk, toss. If you can deal with it right now, do it,
then toss it or add a sticky note with the details and file it.
You aren't going to deal with it right away? Then sticky note
and file it. Do NOT just add it to a pile on your desk. Can you
tell piles of papers are my personal Waterloo?
My other favorite is standing up when someone comes into my
workplace. It doesn't matter who it is or what's the reason.
The message to myself is: this is my workplace and I am here to
work. If I'm not seated, chances are my guest won't sit down
either. It's a bit more polite than just continuing to work
without looking up...and if you do that, chances are the guest
will still sit down.
Here is where a back-up plan is important. Have it already in
your head what you will say if you are interrupted. "I'm busy
at the moment, can you come back in____ minutes...hours"...
whatever works. "Would you like to make an appointment?" "I'm
taking a break at_____, would you like to join me?" And so on.
This even works when I'm working at my computer at home and the
cat comes in. She loves to sit on my hands on the keyboard! or
my lap, or right in front of the monitor. I stand up (no lap) and
I even make an appointment with her (in my own mind of course!)...
to play, feed her, watch tv for a few minutes so she can sit on my
lap; sometimes we play Catch the Cursor for a couple minutes...
something. She quickly leaves or curls up somewhere else if I'm
not sitting down.
You may be thinking that productivity and organization are a lot
easier to take responsibility for than motivation, morale,
creativity and humor. Is your boss refusing to give you a raise,
no matter how well you do your work? Maybe the job has no room
for creativity, and humor is ok in small doses, but not really
appreciated. Is it your own work ethic nagging at you to work
constantly? Maybe it's your spouse nagging you with money worries,
or feeling neglected.
In order for you to be a healthy, fulfilled human being, you need
these qualities in your life. Creatively bring your own suggestions
and solutions to the table. You need your sense of humor to
maintain a healthy perspective. Expressing yourself creatively is
as important as supporting yourself financially; so brainstorm
with others, research, its up to you to find the innovative solutions.
You need the breaks, so take them. And if your spouse misses you,
take the vacation together.
If no matter how hard you try, you can't get a grip on your lifestyle,
then its time for YOU to change it. Consider a new job, being your
own boss, or a new affiliate program. Pride and excellence are up to
YOU. It's YOUR life.
About the author:
Glenn Beach is a poet, writer and home business entrepreneur in Nova Scotia, Canada. Free newsletter, more articles, and business start-up info at: http://www.work-at-home-business-opportunity-canada.com
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