Be a Better Employee By Taking Care of YOU

May 31, 2012

“Leave your personal life at the door.”  This is a common saying in the workplace, but it’s just not natural and there’s no human being in the world that is capable of completely leaving 100% of everything personal “at the door”.  In fact, things about your personal life that form who you are – – personality, skills, drive and determination, etc. – – are some of the very reasons your company hired you to begin with.

That being said, understanding how your personal life affects your work life is extremely important.  Taking care of yourself and your needs outside of the office is going to serve a lot of other advantages, including some issues that may arise in the office.

Here are some great tips for helping to take care of some of the emotional “baggage” that could be weighing you down – – including weighing you down in the office.

Declutter Your Life.  When you’ve got a lot of clutter around you, whether it’s at home or at the workplace, it gets in the way of things that are really important.  The same goes for the emotional clutter that may be weighing you down.  Are you living in the past?  Are you consumed with worry and fear about the future?  Are you having trouble in your relationships?  Whatever the “emotional clutter” may be, do some Spring Cleaning and get those things off of your plate.  You may even wish to seek personal counseling with a licensed therapist, who can be a professionally trained, unbiased third party to listen to what things are bothering you.

Reframe Your To Do List.  If your To Do List is pages and pages long, you might need to re-think your To Do List altogether.  Having an overwhelming list of things to do can create a lot of unnecessary stress, which sometimes even leads to procrastination as well.  So, tackle your To Do List head on.  First, prioritize your To Do List into A, B and C columns to help determine which things are most important.  Then figure out what tasks require the most time or effort and which can get knocked out right away.  Make smaller To Do Lists on a week-by-week or even day-by-day basis.  You will gain a sense of accomplishment and confidence by knocking out a few things at a time instead of taking on your entire To Do List right now.  You’re not super human, after all!

Figure Out Your Goals.  Knowing what it is that you want is one way to start putting yourself on the right path toward success.  Goal-setting is a way to help give you direction and focus.  Consider making a dream board, a posterboard of pictures, words and other images that represent your goals and desires.  Make your dream board visible on a daily basis and take a moment to view your dream board each day.  Then, make a list of your goals and pick one to focus on.

Purge Toxic Friendships.  Just about everybody has that one friendship that is toxic.  By toxic, meaning that costs to keep that friendship going outweigh the benefits.  Whether it’s a relationship where all they do is take, take take. Perhaps someone that constantly makes little digs to put you down.  These toxic friendships have a way of weighing you down emotionally and it can affect you in other areas of your life.  So, don’t be so available.  Don’t be afraid to say no.  And, if you have a friendship like this that you’d really like to save, give this person an opportunity to correct his or her behavior.  Confront them politely about your feelings and concerns and see if there is a way to salvage the friendship.  But, the moment you start to see the costs outweigh the benefits, it’s time to re-think and maybe even ditch that friendship.

Fight Fatigue.  When you’re not giving your body what it needs, it will find its way of letting you know.  If you’re always tired, you are most likely not getting enough sleep at night.  It is recommended that you get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night in order to give yourself enough time to rest and replenish yourself.  Try setting a regular bedtime for yourself and enforce it!  You will find a lot of your emotional stresses can be resolved by simply giving yourself some extra Z’s each night.  You may also see an improvement in your attention-level and efficiency at work!

Let Go of Grudges.  Holding onto anger and grudges never does anybody any good.  It increases stress hormones, which can cause other health problems like high blood pressure, digestive issues and even heart disease.  Determine what grudges you may be holding – – which may be personal or even at the workplace.  Write it down, including what happened and how you feel about it.  Then, evaluate the day-to-day cost of holding onto the negative energy these feelings create.  Is it worth it?  Determine what it is that you are looking for to help give you the closure you need to move on.  Know that what you need may not be possible and choose to forgive and move on with your life regardless of whether or not that closure can be given to you by another party.  You will be doing yourself a huge favor!

Add “Me” Moments.  Find opportunities to give yourself time for you.  Even if it’s just a quick 5 minutes to “get away” from it all.  No work, no family, no chores, no obligations.  A time to decompress and escape to recharge yourself and your state of mind.  Try to learn to take several 5-10 minute “Me” moments throughout the day.  This will help you perform better at whatever it is you’re doing – – in and outside of the office!

Taking care of yourself is extremely important, but is often times forgotten by so many.  When you’re not taking care of yourself, regardless of whatever you may do to try and cover that up, it will show itself in some form or another.  So, take a few moments to figure out what it is that you’re doing (or not doing) and start taking care of YOU!

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey, leaders in the area of education and training of the nation’s leaders in the areas of team member engagement, customer service, leadership development, and sales and presentation training. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.


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