In a previous article I suggested six strategies for re-energizing on the front line. I pointed out that working on the front-line all day long can be draining. I also suggested that front line employees don’t know what a customer’s next question might be, what mood he or she might be in, or whether the organization will be able to satisfy the customer’s need. Answering telephones, responding to queries, finding solutions to problems, and keeping people satisfied can be rewarding but also quite challenging. When we are at it all day long, week in and week out we can feel the effects of stress on our body, mind and emotions. Here are four more strategies to help your day go smoothly and help you alleviate stress.
We get paid for our work. That’s not a reward but something we receive in return for doing good work. A reward is something we receive for going beyond the ordinary and sometimes just completing the ordinary in an extra ordinary fashion. Often, we don’t expect anything more for this work, except the satisfaction of knowing that we are doing good work. This is more about self-satisfaction than aggrandizement. Sometimes successful companies take note of this and highlight these individuals as role models and identify them as potential people they would like to promote. However this is not always the case nor should we expect the company to always take note. Sometimes we know we have done a good job and as a result we can reward ourselves. We don’t need to be extravagant about this. We just need to take time out to pat ourselves on the back. Do something simple like taking a five-minute break before moving on the your next big task, treating yourself with something special over the noon hour, doing a kind act for someone else (a kind act always gets rewarded), …..
Claim The Importance Of Your Work
Whatever you do is important no matter what position you hold. Someone is dependent on you fulfilling your responsibilities. If it wasn’t important then there wouldn’t be a position and you would be out of work. When you signed up with a company no doubt you signed up with intention to carry out your work with the best of your ability. This is something expected by both you and your employer. The best way to align yourself with your work is to ensure what you do is connected with your personal purpose and values. This raises your work to a higher purpose and adds value to you and your employer. A quote attributed to Steve Jobs reads, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” I suggest this means that we are not in it just for the paycheck. If the paycheck is the only thing that counts then sooner or later you will become bored, frustrated and unhappy. If this describes you, then you are doing a disserve to yourself and your employer. You are faced with a choice, claim the importance of your work or search for work that fits with your purpose or values. Your work is important, if you don’t see it that way, then make room for someone else who may experience a closer fit. As you sort through your work discontent explore your options with your employer or supervisor, seek career advice with a Human Resource specialist or talk to someone you can trust.
Avoid the Some-Day Stack.
The ‘Some-Day Stack” is that pile of stuff you put off for another time, day or week. If you consistently pile things on that stack, either on your ‘hard desk’ – the one on which your computer sits – or your ‘soft desk’ – the one on which your emails, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint sit – or both, they will eventually stress you out. There is an old axiom, “pick it up and decide what you are going to do with it before putting it down,’ and I suggest that we can now add “read it on your monitor and decide what you are going to do with it before going on to the next item’. The process is quite simple. Just decide to do it, delegate it to someone else, time activate it when you can do it, or trash it. If the item is important, set a priority to do it now or set a time when you can do it; if it’s not important and not urgent file it or trash it. If you are in a position where you have the opportunity to delegate consider that option, if you are not, then consider the other four strategies. Remember the process is simple but it takes discipline. And that my friend rests with you.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is something many of us have a modicum of control over but don’t follow appropriate sleep protocol. There are several bad habits that some of us fall into prior to retiring such as watching the late show or a heart thumbing drama on television, reading on tablets or on our phones, drinking an alcohol or coffee beverage, entering into a heated debate, not closing off your day. We have control over all of these items and once again it comes down to self-discipline. Here are some habit changes you can make if you see yourself committing anyone one of these poor sleep preparation habits. Thirty minutes to one hour before bedtime, switch off the television, put your reading tablet and telephone away, drink a cup of warm water or milk and avoid heated exchanges. In the early evening or before you leave work plan your next day by completing any quick activities left on your list; review unfinished business and set a date and time when you plan on completing them; identify your priorities for the next day and plan on completing at least one first thing in the morning. Proper sleep has the effect of improving fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and cognitive functioning. Lack of sleep has an adverse effect on a host of physical health issues. Sleep deprivation is often cited as a primary or secondary cause of industrial and motor vehicle accidents. So the bottom line of getting ‘your best sleep’ results in improving both your physical and emotional wellbeing, your relationships and your work life. For more on sleep deprivation read articles on Webmd. https://www.webmd.com/search/search_results/default.aspx?query=sleep%20deprivation
Thank you for Reading
Richard P. Fontanie MSW