I found this in some of my readings that just hit home. Six steps to a better working life! I have been spending much time at work – redefining my work habits and adding a few changes that I hope will have a very positive impact. When I read this post, I was completely in agreement. Point out the ways that I have attempted to change what I am doing.
1. Remember it’s your life—and therefore your choice about how you spend it.
With the times that we face today – this may seem very difficult, but you have to be happy doing what you are doing. Does that always mean that you have to leave what you are doing for a green pasture? Not really. You could attempt to change the way things are done! Work with that annoying co-worker to brighten up the day. Spend time with that jerk of a boss to share some of you thoughts on how things could get better. If that all fails, well – then maybe it is time. You tried! They failed! Maybe a good read for you is Escape From Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim. I have read it, my journey is already begun.
2. Set aside some long periods of unbroken time for tasks that need concentration.
Here is another item that definitely has been a lost art. Busy lives are something that just is a way of life for most people. With technology today – being connected and busy is something that is just the way it is. How do you really get done the work that you need to get done? Multi-task and just put more hours in a day? Either way – you need to step back and make sure you have unbroken time of the Most Important Tasks. Maybe a good read for you is The Power of Less by Leo Babauta.
3. Include lengthy periods in your schedule for thinking and reflecting.
Treat them as ‘sacred’ times too, never to be disturbed if you can avoid it. You must take time to think and reflect. Quiet time in the mornings or evenings to get away and spend quality time away from distractions. If folks just don’t want to honor this – then get away and make the time. Go out of the office to get a cup of coffee or tea, sit in a park or whatever quiet spot you have – use it! I read the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey that pointed out this is a very solid first step to everything.
4. ‘Disconnect’ yourself regularly.
For years, I loved the always connected by either email, phone, wireless connection or whatever else is available to folks. Gave me the sense of importance (really it was the perception of importance). Getting disconnected regularly is very relaxing. I know folks that only look for vacations that have internet access and strong cell service – in order to get away. Is that truly getting away? Did you recharge that battery? I just to each is his/her own, but I think that disconnecting from time to time is not a bad thing. I turned in my business smart phone – to get away from the push email. I was definitely hooked on every spare moment – checking the email.
5. Avoid every meeting you can.
Ok, this one is a personal quest of mine! I am all for less is more, when it comes to meetings. I have looked at my schedule from time to time – and have said – when will I get work done? My projects or most important tasks – I do not have any time in the day to complete them. Meetings – some are necessary; most are not! I wrote about this – in a past blog post! Ever just think that meetings are a very good way for the office politics to continue? I have learned to say No… If I do not see that I am going to add any value to the meeting or get anything from it – I decline.
6. Never, ever stop learning.
When you stop learning, you’re as good as dead mentally. There’s no excuse you can make for giving up on developing yourself. When I was going through school, college and early on in my career I hated to read. Reading is the easiest way to learn new things. I have read a lot over the past 5 years. I always have a book close by! I have my RSS filled with blog sites or learning sites that have been helpful to me over the years. For me, I have made this one a habit – that I don’t plan on changing for quite sometime.