Stress is rampant. Life is fast paced. Where does peace and contemplation come in? Tara, let's have coffee. :)
Coffee time. Its an escape goat of every yuppie from the minute to minute, hour to hour requirement at the office. Too much work too do. Too quickly stress can pile up too.
How do we really handle our work? Our working attitude? Those are two different things, really. Let me describe them further.
Your work is usually what your logical brain can facilitate to produce through your outputs everyday. In technical speak, its all brain impulses. Everything is strictly in black or white. Its a Yes or No. Its a Failure or Success. This is what makes work seem to be more difficult everyday. The fear of not delivering the right outputs everyday. The fear of not being able to work.
Work, as I keep refering to, is everything not about emotion. You come to work, you should always be prepared mentally and physically. Sleepy? Have coffee. Erratic? Go home and rest. Why? If you are erratic, then you produce more imbalanced emotions that might affect work.
Working attitude on the other hand is how you use your emotion to drive your motivation to work and deliver quality work. Yes, I think you might say it violates the dis-involvement of emotion with work. But attitude is the by-product of having the right balance of emotion and using it to your leverage to produce the clarity of mind to make quality work.
Stress greatly affects working attitude. Which, in turn affects work. So, the solution is really to change your working attitude!
How? Well, here are my crazy tips. You can try it my way (or go back to being your stressful self) :D though
- Everything is only about issues that need clarification. THERE IS NEVER A PROBLEM.
We should start rephrasing how we deal with everyday situation. If we encounter a difficulty, always treat them as isolated issues. Why isolated? This gives you a chance to jot down your observation that is tangent to this "issue"; then learn from it. Later on, when a similar case pops up, your observation will allow you to see the issue different from the first time you encountered it.
This will eliminate a lot of stress from you the second time you encounter the same issue.. simply because you kept the lessons learned and did not attach any emotion to the "issue" after you first experienced it
- Pick yourself up and try again.
If you fail the first time, that doesn't get written on your forehead and marked as "YOU". It was only an "isolated" failure that is connected to several other factors. There aren't any two issues (even applicable for success and failures) that are perfectly the same all the time. Keeping this in mind will allow you to pick yourself up when you encounter failure and never leave negative marks to how you see yourself.
- "YOU" are not important.
Your work is never about you. When you argue, bring with you your job description. Bring with you your goals. What is it that you were arguing FOR? Not arguing about. Even if somebody will tell you that he/she doesn't think you're right, doesn't mean that you really aren't right. Right?! Its all subjective.
Never argue with anyone at work if you only have "YOU" in your mind. Always stop and listen to the argument. "YOU" aren't important to the argument, so leave your ego behind and keep the "open mind" on the table.
- Learn to identify your walls.
For every scenario, there are two walls. You are always in between two walls. Every issue, every scenario will always consist of two walls. You need to identify them to your benefit.
Example, your subordinate is resigning while you are in the middle of a tightly scheduled deliverable. Here are your walls:
(a) your deliverable's expectations - the schedule, the quality, the resources are all considerable factors
(b) your decision and preferences - your responsibilities to your subordinate, your ideal scenario/preference
You are not prepared to let this subordinate go because it directly affects the expectations on your deliverables. You will incur a delay if you let this person go. Its not your call to make the changes in schedule. What do you do?
Again, as I have clearly identified the walls squeezing me. Which one can I possibly move away from me? Which one can I change? Its obviously the second wall.
I can choose to change the way I picture the ideal scenario is. I can set contingency plans and discuss this with my superior. Some other plans can be arranged either with this subordinate resigning or with some external resource.
Bottom line: there is no problem if there is ample separation from the wall that you can control.
- Communication is everything
Understand your audience. If they prefer to understand/receive information through diagrams, then deliver diagrams. If mere explanation is fine, then it must be your lucky day. If they love analogies, then present them analogies.
Your obligation is to be the best communication officer between your idea and your audience. Again, "YOU" are not important.
- Be firm and be structured
Know your arguments. Read more, read early. Prepare all your research and reorganize them into blocks (see #5). Don't go into a meeting when your decisions are half baked. Otherwise, you will easily be swayed and your right decision will be a cause of stress.
If you fail to convince your audience, maybe you weren't convinced of what you're saying to begin with.
- Honesty is the best policy
Bosses never apologize. But we do know that they are sorry (of course we don't need to hear the apology because.. see #3). But when you are wrong, demonstrate honesty. Say sorry and admit when you missed something; but quickly offer an alternative. This will show that you aren't only honest, but you are sincerely sorry about the inadvertent mistake.
If you are a boss, if you have subordinates, you should learn how to prevent stress; and learn how to release it when acquired. Never vent out anger nor show distress within company of your subordinates. The least thing you'd want is for them to worry about you or assume anything else other than what is really happening.
Words, just like actions can cause stress to others as well. Much as you'd want to prevent yourself from getting stress, its always wise to never be the cause of stress to others.
These are my own list of the right attitude at the right time. What's your right time? Are there other sets? Perhaps.. I might want to write about that some other time. For now, let's do good and let's do it well. ;)