I feel very blessed to have a job that I love. I support Arrangement Counselors at an office that coordinates cremations. Yes, it sounds weird…but it’s by far the best job I’ve ever had. I have a Masters Degree in General Management, but I still would rather work where I do. I have a job where I can really help others…at a time where they really need someone who is compassionate. Finally, I don’t have to feel bad for being overly sensitive.
No matter how much I love my job, I still get stressed. I am a Type-A Virgo, which means if I let myself, I’d be a workaholic perfectionist. I would drive myself crazy trying to finish everything efficiently and accurately, and I’d be really, REALLY hard on myself for any mistakes. Ok, most of the time, I let myself…
This year I made a resolution to change. I’m not good with change…AT ALL! Don’t get me wrong, I can adapt…and quickly…but I really, really hate change. I’m kind of like Grug from the Croods…”It’s NEW!” (in my horrible Nicolas Cage impression).
I decided to try one thing at a time. I found five things that help me keep my sanity.
Change #1: I started taking a lunch.
Ok, this was a really hard one for me. Sometimes we are really busy and my main focus is to help our families. I felt like if I was taking an hour for lunch, I was letting them down. Well, if I’m burned out and lose the ability to focus, I’m letting them down even more. On the flip side, I can’t just sit at my desk…if I’m at my desk, I’m going to work. Light bulb moment: Go to the gym! My gym is 10 minutes from my work, so even with driving and changing time, I can still fit in a mini workout. It’s not a crazy, dripping-with-sweat (thankfully) workout…but I feel awesome for the rest of the afternoon. I’d love to say I go every day, but I’d by lying. I’m making progress though.
Change #2: I created a journal/to-do list.
Sometimes I feel like I don’t get enough done. I’d get to the end of the day and alternate feeling like I hadn’t completed enough, and realizing that I had forgotten to do things. While surfing Pinterest (I love Pinterest!) one day, I was looking at these beautiful bullet journals and wishing that I had just a little bit of creativity in me. Light bulb moment: Get some colored gel pens and write everything down! At first, I worried that I wouldn’t have time or that I would have too many menial tasks and wouldn’t write them all down. It’s definitely a work in progress, but I have been MUCH more productive, and I don’t forget things like I used to. Plus, the colored pens make me feel a little creative…SCORE!
Change #3: I drink more water.
Everyone knows they are supposed to drink water…lots of water. You all know what the benefits are so I’m not going to waste your time, but how many of us actually do it? I would get to the end of the day and realize that I’d been so busy I didn’t even get half my bottle down. I force myself to chug as much as I can. My mom-brain becomes even more fuzzy when I get dehydrated. Drink, drink, drink!!!!
Change #4: I started attending the kids’ school events.
I know, I know…you’re thinking, “Uh, Michelle…what does that have to do with work?” Actually, a lot more than you think. Every year I told my children that we couldn’t go to the events the school held “Reading night, Science night, Math night…” because I had to work all day. I vowed this year to go to every single one of them…and I did. It made me be more productive at work because I didn’t want to be thinking about work while being there for the kids, and it made me happier seeing how excited they were, being happier gave me more energy. Even better, the events are catered so that’s one night I don’t have to worry about cooking dinner…again, SCORE!!
Change #5: Leaving home at home.
In the past, I’ve let my personal life interfere with my work. When things were really bad, I would burst into tears. If I wasn’t crying, I was stressing about my home life. Too much stress = LOW, LOW, LOW productivity. Not only was I less productive, I was causing the entire office atmosphere to be down. Emotions are contagious. Negative environments cause the entire office to lose their morale. Leave work at home…trust me.
I’m definitely a work in progress. I’m always looking for better ways to be more productive. Share what makes you more productive.