How often don’t we let work stress us out? Is it really worth it? I’m sure, just like me, you’ve been there too. Getting all worked up because of something someone at work didn’t do or, because of the decisions management make that affect you negatively. Maybe you’re a person like me who prides yourself on your work ethic and, the bad decisions or commitments others make causes you to compromise your deliverables or quality of work.
I used to get all stressed out when these situations arose. I too got myself into a state of sleepless nights where it literally affected my health. I allowed other people’s bad planning or lack of consideration for my effort affect me to the point where I lost the plot. Luckily for me, I always had a good enough relationship with my managers, where I could speak my mind and just let off some steam. It took time to get to this point though, a few years of working together and my reputation for always delivering good work – I cultivated a sense of trust in my ability.
Admittedly, I wasn’t always successful in changing what was agreed to but, I managed to find a way around their sometimes “idiotic” (yes they make them too) decisions. I found that I had it in me to make a success of a seemingly doomed situation especially after I “calmed my farm” (as my sister-in-law always says). However, the amount of stress and anxiety it caused me, to begin with, and throughout the process, was just not worth it.
A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a colleague and I recognised myself in him. He was getting all wound up about exactly the things I’ve mentioned above. Here he was, before the start of his workday, still in transit to the office. Had he taken the time to take in his surroundings or enjoy the peace of the train ride without the stresses of being caught up in traffic? Had he only realised that the day that lay ahead of him had a set amount of work hours before he came back home? Then, he would know that the emotions he had lit fire to, sparked by a simple “How are you doing?” from me, was really not worth it. It was a waste of time, a waste of emotion and a death spiral of the things that are at the bottom of the list in terms of the bigger picture.
I smiled and, being an outsider to his situation, managed to give him the following advice:
“Do the best you can in the 7.5/8 hours of your day. As long as you can show progress/results, you’re good.
Sometimes, managers make decisions which affect you but guess what? They sleep soundly at night and have the bank balance to show it too“.
Needless to say, I had to repeat myself a few times and play the broken record technique until he smiled. He got it and thanked me…”for my wisdom“. Lol! (Not so sure about that though)
I smiled inwardly at myself too because I love these opportunities. They help the next person to calm their farm but it also reaffirms the lesson to me because let’s face it…life is work in progress…
Till next time…