For many of us, work is a place that we grow, compete, learn and challenge ourselves as well as others. It can be exhilarating as much as it can be exhausting. In order to focus on our positive aims and achieve our goals, we must keep the daily unnecessary struggles to a minimum. One of the most cliché phrases still means so much to us, “choose your battles wisely.”
1. Step away from gossip if possible. If you’re stuck at the table or break room, don’t add any fuel to the flame. You can be polite and validating without enabling to the negative commentary.
2. Always wait at least an hour before responding to a work associated email. Let the content settle. Then reread, then respond.
3. If you have an idea that could mean an improvement to your work affiliates, company, institution etc, keep it to yourself until you are in a place to receive credit, like in a meeting or in an email directly from you (I learned this the hard way).
5. Always carry a snack like a power bar or a pack of almonds with you in your bag. Many times, I’ve been short on time, unable to get lunch. Once my blood sugar drops, so does my thinking ability and my patience. My almonds are my brain fuel (mom taught me this).
6. If something unsettling or annoying happens, it’s best to wait until you’re home to vent to your friends or family. This will lessen the risk of you saying something rooted only in emotion that you might regret later.
7. Put appearance second to comfort. Wear what you feel best in. For example, instead of forcing yourself to wear a pair of pants that just quite don’t fit you right, wear that dress you feel good in and don’t worry about all day. Sometimes, for whatever reason, I’ll make myself wear some pants I really don’t like and then feel weird all day, just making it harder to keep my zen. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to wear flats or an untucked shirt. It’s about whatever you feel most comfortable in. I know many women who feel at their best in heels, so this is up to you.
8. Have a few phrases in mind ahead of time that you can automatically Implement when someone says something rude or passive aggressive to you, very non-confrontational responses like, “Thank you for letting me know how you feel,” or, “Interesting.” Leave it at that. Having a bank of little phrases can keep you from digging into your battle box and make the incident pass by faster so you can move on.
9. If you have any accessories that you require to perform at your full potential like glasses, a hearing aid or an elbow brace, wear them. It will be more embarrassing if you can’t read your own presentation notes because you feel goofy in your reading glasses. This sounds obvious, but it really isn’t. Peers and superiors place a lot of emphasis on looks. Knowing this can inhibit peace of mind, hurting performance and oppressing zen. Appearance in the professional setting unfortunately plays a considerable factor, but work output is still #1.
Marilyn Monroe plays out this issue best in the video below.
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