I spent a few months in a loop. Every day, I’d wake up and I think — today I’ll get ready on time, get to the morning meeting on time, write all my tasks down and actually complete them. Then the end of the day comes and I haven’t done any of this. I go to bed late because I got stuck at work, leaving a bunch of unfinished tasks for tomorrow.
The next day, I wake up and do the same thing all over again. This doesn’t mean I don’t finish things. It just means I do things the unhealthy way instead of finally getting organized.
We keep promising ourselves stuff we never do and we keep disappointing ourselves. It’s a magic circle our work dynamics got us into and we can’t seem to get out of it.
Things don’t have to be as hard as we make them. There’s a better way for everything. Changing some bad habits can really affect our work quality and our overall happiness. Here are some I detected:
That negative Monday feeling
Mondays aren’t so bad, we just make them bad. We even start getting stressed about Monday on Sunday evening. Yes, it’s that damned day that comes first after two days of relaxation, so I guess it’s normal to feel that way. But, it doesn’t have to be that bad. Since Monday is the day we plan our week, we could start with some time management techniques that could help us be more efficient. Moreover, we could spend the day finishing some smaller tasks. That way we’ll slowly slide into the flow of the working week after we’ve had that relaxing Sunday we deserve.
Going to work sick
We often think that if we don’t go to work that exact day when we get sick, the world will fall apart. We believe it’s better to do something than nothing. Well, we’re wrong. We just make things worse. We go there and become even more exhausted, which could seriously affect our health condition. And the health condition of our colleagues as well. So, maybe it would be better to call in sick and wait until we actually are in a condition to work. Or at least, ask to work from home.
There are days when we don’t need to talk to people too much and we just need to be alone with our thoughts — and that’s okay. However, this is not a situation that should be on-going. Being a team player is really appreciated, especially when we’re helping colleagues who are struggling. And yes, I know it gets dull to see the same people all the time, but it’s healthy to hang out once in a while. You’ll probably say you’re an introvert, but you might be missing out some good opportunities that won’t show up if you stay in and binge-watch a TV show.
Yes, I know you’ve heard this one before. But I also know you’re still doing it. Delaying tasks for tomorrow is easy. But the next day eventually comes with its own tasks. And that’s when I really want to give “me from the previous day” a lesson. We could actually not leave things for the next day and make ourselves a favor.
The social media addiction
It’s become pretty hard not to open Facebook or Instagram for an hour. We interact with these networks so often that we don’t even notice what a serious focus killer they are. Opening them at least 20 times a day interferes with our work and we have to be aware of this. Limiting social media time can help us finish tasks more efficiently. Moreover, we could cause ourselves some serious problems if we get noticed.
Tip: If you’re spending too much time on Facebook, you can use the News Feed Eradicator for Facebook Chrome extension to replace your News Feed with an inspirational quote.
Jumping from task to task
I’ve noticed this is a problem for me when I have too many tasks. Sometimes I panic that I won’t do everything on time, so I start all of them. This way, I get the feeling that I’m advancing with all my tasks and I get some kind of satisfaction. But, this feeling doesn’t last for long. Eventually, I’m left with a lot of unfinished tasks again. Instead, it’s better to finish them one by one. Even better, making a list with all the tasks, prioritized, gives me a sense of control. Finishing the more difficult task first gives me the motivation to start the next one.
Not counting to ten
Okay, so a bad thing happened. It’s really hard to control our temper sometimes, so we burst out and make the problem even bigger. Ten minutes later, when we’re calm, we realize that it wasn’t such a big deal. But, it’s too late — the mess has already been made. Instead, it’s healthy to count to ten before bursting out. This will stop us from saying things we’ll later regret and making the situation even more stressful. Things won’t always be good and we just have to deal with them in a healthy manner.
Not learning new things
Doing the same job for a few years might become boring, resulting in less motivation and enthusiasm. However, this doesn’t mean that we should stop learning. There are always ways we could make progress. I have a way to hack the dull feeling I sometimes get — I dedicate a few hours of every Sunday to learn something new. Improving language skills, learning a new programming language, exploring industry trends — you name it.
Sometimes we’re not even aware of things that might interfere with our work. That’s why it’s healthy to make a self-evaluation from time to time and see what can we do better. It’s not the others we’re supposed to please — it’s ourselves we have to be happy with.
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