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
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
downtime. Regular virus scans, firewalls, defragmentation, and file
back-ups are crucial to maintaining computer health and well-being.
There are a few well-known organizational tips
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
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
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
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
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 the 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
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.