Peace. Calm. Serenity. Zen.
Even just the sight of these words can create a greater sense of calm in us – well either that, or it can start some mental dialogue that goes something like “I don’t have that” or “what does that feel like?” or “that’s nonsense.” With that being said, it brings to mind the big question – how do we achieve more peace and calm in our lives, especially when working in this fast-paced day and age? Believe it or not, it’s easier than you think – and no, it doesn’t involve moving to a far away country and hiding away in a cave while meditating 18 hours a day.
Exercise Before Work
I know, it sounds like a pain to not only wake up early for work every day let alone waking up even earlier for exercise? Well, it’s easier than you think. Actually, don’t think, just do it, and you’ll reap the rewards. Not only will you shake off any jitters or resentment you have about going to work that day, but when your work shift ends you’ll realize you already got your exercise in for in the day and the rest of the day and evening is yours to do with as you please.
Avoid Complaining, Especially Mentally Complaining
Complaining not only brings you down, it brings others down as well. While we know we shouldn’t complain at work, the one thing to really avoid is mentally complaining. You know, that chatter that sounds like “oh great, another demanding customer,” or “oh my goodness look how many tasks I have ahead of me,” or “is my shift over yet?” Your state of mind is valuable! Protect it and it will return the favor by melting away that excess negative emotion.
Take All of Your Alotted Breaks
Always take advantage of your breaks. You should never overload yourself and try to impress others by skipping your breaks every day. In fact, taking your breaks and then returning to work can actually make you feel more energized, more productive, and may even help you work a little faster.
Stop Rushing So Much
When I encourage you to stop rushing I don’t mean to be spacey and slothful instead. It simply means that you should avoid being hurried. If an urgent issue at work arises or a customer needs extra speedy assistance, then by all means crank it up and match that pace. Believe it or not but refusing to be hurried all the time actually requires assertiveness to stand your ground and control your situations.
Plan Your Days
Taking a cue from Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, planning your days and organizing them into urgent and non-urgent tasks helps you stay organized. Invest in a whiteboard and put it up in your home somewhere where you can write on it and see it every day. Use it to write down your upcoming short and long term tasks and then act appropriately.
Develop Your Own “Calming” Daily Rituals
To me, this is one is the key step. There are many great calming rituals out there, and some of the ones I’ve personally benefitted from include gratitude lists, letting go of unwanted emotions (like the Sedona Method), yoga, meditation, yoga nidra, mindfulness practice, brain wave entrainment, ocean surf mp3′s, visualization, and the list goes on. I’ve personally learned a lot as well from the reading the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I don’t practice all of these things at once, but I still have some of my AM and PM rituals that I practice daily, and continue to reap benefits from.
By exercising before work, avoiding complaining, not mentally complaining, taking all of your allotted breaks, stopping the rushing, planning your days, and using your own “calming” daily rituals, you are well on your away to becoming much calmer at work, even in the face of very busy days or angry customers. My final advice to you is: it’s easier than you think. Actually don’t think, just do it!