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3 Steps to Enjoying Work
By Richard Lindesay
Many people who work in corporate office environments tend toward high levels of stress and anxiety, while others happily enjoy their work life. How can the same environment with the same stress attributors cause such different responses? The obvious answer is that people who enjoy their work do things differently from those who stress out. But what do they do differently, and how?
Having worked with many companies across many countries, I have put a lot of focus on answering that question. When I meet someone who has high stress, I pay attention to their behaviours, their language, their physiology. Likewise I do the same when I meet the less common person who is happily able to deal with their work life. Pay attention to this kind of thing for long enough and patterns start emerging.
There are three patterns I have noticed with stress in corporate environments.
People have a base level of stress that they can comfortably deal with. If their day to day stress is at or below this level, they get by fine. But if things get too stressful and above the level they can comfortably deal with, problems occur.
Those with a low base level of stress can generally deal with more than those who have a high base level of stress. Those who have a high base level of stress only need a few things to happen before they're tipped over the edge.
As people go over their comfortable level of stress they deal with it in different ways. Some people will do something to distract themselves, such as smoking, eating, drinking, going for a walk. Those who enjoy their work notice that their stress is getting too high and reduce it without the need for the distraction.
Those who enjoy corporate work and have low stress levels, tend to have systems to managing their workload. Such systems help them plan to avoid stress by having ways of dealing with incoming information, planning tasks, and managing information overflow.
In corporate environments there are many different ways that information comes to people. Information comes from meetings, through email, phone calls, text messages, and people dropping by the desk. Those who have low stress tend to have ways of gathering this information and dealing with it appropriately.
Now with all of this information there is invariably going to be work to do. Effective time management methods go a long way toward reducing stress and anxiety, as people then know what is important now and what can be left until later.
There is often a lot of information that needs to be kept and stored for later use. Those who have low stress levels tend to have ways of organising this information in such a way that it can be easily picked up later and understood without too much effort.
People who enjoy corporate life tend to have flexible attitudes. One of their main attitudes tend to be one of being light-hearted and easy going, and therefore they don't get too stuck in one way or another and can instead adapt as necessary.
Such light-hearted people also enjoy themselves more, and therefore those around them tend to also enjoy themselves in their presence. If people are able to see enjoy themselves and see humour in things that would usually bother them, they tend to not bother them as much.
My approaches first focus on reducing the base stress level, therefore making it so that the person can deal with more stressful things before it becomes a problem. Then I give the client ways of quickly dealing with stress when it gets too high, without the need for distractions.
I will often give guidance on input, task, and information management. There are various methods I have used over the years which are adaptable to all sorts of different personalities and styles. I work with clients to find something that suits them.
And finally I will always have an air of humour and fun around the work I do. I will encourage those I work with to find humour in their difficulties, helping them think of them differently and come up with better solutions.
Sessions are in Hornsby NSW or Skype, and cost AU$110. For more information and for consideration for an appointment, click Book a Session.
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