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Lifestyle,  Productivity and Organisation,  Worklife and Wellbeing

Energize Your Work Life: Break Free from Energy-Draining Habits

Hello and welcome back to Readably Yours!

I usually don’t like to start my post with a negative question, but let’s make an exception today.

Do you often find it challenging to stay energized and focused throughout the day?

You’re certainly not the only one. Many of us grapple with work habits that sap our energy, leaving us feeling drained and lacking motivation.

Today, I’m here to share some tough-advice on how to identify and break free from these energy-draining habits. Let’s explore how small (but obvious) changes in our work habits can lead to a huge transformation in our energy levels and productivity.

  • Start with Some Self-Reflection, You Desperately Need It:

The undeniable truth remains: each of us is unique and influenced by diverse factors shaping our work habits. Perhaps, this could serve as your excuse for why your manager is the way s/he is. However, don’t let that stop you from saving yourself from drowning in a sea of soul-draining tasks.

Begin by engaging in self-reflection. Grab a journal or a blank page; personally, I favor my Self-Exploration Journal from The Piko Shop, as it prompts reflection on my emotional triggers. Ask yourself a really simple question:

“Which work habits leave me feeling drained?”

Now, do yourself a favor and embrace complete honesty. There’s no judgment in wanting to improve work habits.

Writing marks the initial step; acknowledging these habits and understanding their impact follows. You could lament over the list indefinitely or frame actionable solutions for each issue you’ve acknowledged. Once you’ve managed to successfully self-reflect, we can delve into some common energy-sapping work habits and explore alternative ways to stay energized and thrive.

  • Do Not Multitask, Who Are You Even Kidding:

Let’s face it— I’m the poster child for multitasking **silently cries**, endlessly attempting to impress others with my ability to tackle a multitude of tasks simultaneously. So, believe me when I say, I totally get where you’re coming from. It’s a common struggle for overachievers worldwide; we’re so focused on showcasing our efficiency to others that we neglect our own well-being. Every completed task becomes a badge of honor, a proof of the productivity harness. But here’s a little secret: multitasking isn’t the productivity tool we managed to crack, especially when it comes to work-related tasks that demand our full attention and diligence, unlike more leisurely pursuits like reading.

Surely, don’t go by my word, but here’s what experts from NY Times, HuffPost, Psychology Today and Thrive Global suggest: Juggling multiple tasks often results in undivided attention and reduced focus, leading us down the road to… you guessed it right, “mental exhaustion,” in other words, “burnout.” Rather than spreading ourselves thin, why not at least attempt to enjoy the art of single-tasking?

  • Be Comfortable with “Okay” instead of “Perfect”

Hello, perfection, my old friend.

Through most of my life, perfection has been a trusted friend, but as I’ve grown, it’s turned into a challenge. Countless times, I’ve found myself stuck in the search of flawless deliverables, sacrificing my energy and sanity along the way. Does this sound familiar to you as well?

Perfectionism undoubtedly acts as a major energy drain; it breeds self-criticism and encourages a never-ending loop of redoing tasks that were already “okay enough.” And let’s not forget the endless overthinking that accompanies it.

Now that perfection has started becoming a stumble in our adult lives, here is what we should do instead. Embrace the concept of “okay” or “good enough.”

Recognize that aiming for perfection is not only unrealistic but also hampers progress. By setting realistic expectations and allowing ourselves some much-needed leniency, we can free up mental and emotional space, redirecting towards pursuits that actually resonate with us.

  • Get Rid of Those Digital Distractions Already:

Personally, this is not a problem for me. When I was reading “Deep Work” by Cal Newport, I realised this is the person who I am. I am able to disconnect from the digital world, and push complete focus on the task at hand, but that also comes with the inability to connect back in a world that needs you to stay consistently in touch. So, I vouch for the strategy of getting rid of digital distractions, because it does really work.

In today’s digital world, distractions are as common as reacting with emojis to a conversation. At work, colleagues are constantly swinging from one social media app to the next, completely ignoring the tasks at hand. The constant ping of notifications is such a mundane element, simply buzzing around and sucking the life out of our focus. It’s a wonder we get anything done with our treasured phones acting as energy vampires.

To tackle this digital madness, let’s try some mindful digital hygiene. Here’s the beat: set designated times for checking emails and social media strolls. Shut down those notifications when it’s time to get down to business. Put your phone into Work Mode or Focus Mode. Take control of the digital environment and reclaim your sanity, one notification at a time.

  • Get comfortable with Saying “No” to others and “F*CK IT” to yourself:

We all know that one colleague who’d happily offload their dirty laundry onto us. But hey, aren’t we just too damn sweet to turn them down? We say yes to every extra task or commitment, even when we know we’re stretching ourselves thin. It’s that constant fear of letting others down or missing out on opportunities that drives us to raise our hand time and time again, when really, we should be learning to be okay with letting opportunities pass by when we don’t have enough bandwidth.

Let’s face it, we’re often overcommitting ourselves, and it’s draining us both physically and mentally. It’s like trying to see through a fog of confusion when our managers offer it as an opportunity to move upwards in the organization, right? But here’s the reality check: those at the managerial level aren’t just there because of hard work alone. Sure, it plays a part, but what really got them there was their knack for delegating tasks to others. And our generation is too savvy to be lured by someone dangling a carrot in front of us.

It’s time to set some healthy boundaries and embrace the power of saying “no” when necessary. Saying no is an act of self-care. Remember, nothing is truly urgent in this corporate world; we’re not doctors, and no one’s life depends on our availability. Prioritize your well-being by evaluating each request or opportunity against your goals and values. Saying “no” to others means saying “yes” to yourself and your energy.

  • For the love of God, Take A Break:

A Break. The dreaded word in the corporate world.

We’re all part of a whirlwind work culture, where breaks are often frowned upon as signs of laziness or inefficiency. Here’s the kicker: most managers probably view our breaks as a personal insult. Why take a breather when there’s more of their delegated tasks to tackle, right?

Yet, research insists breaks are essential for maintaining energy levels and sustaining productivity. So, here’s the plan: let’s embrace the power of micro-breaks. Incorporate brief moments of reset into our work routine.

Whether it’s a brisk walk, a deep-breathing session in a quiet corner, or simply disconnecting from the screen, these mini-respites can recharge our mind and provide the energy boost we need to power through the day.

And when possible, take longer breaks too. Go on that interstate trip you’ve been craving or enjoy a casual day off, leaving work entirely untouched. Learn to be comfortable inconveniencing others, especially when they’re okay with draining your energy.

Here’s one last morsel to help you shed energy-draining habits:

Remember, colleagues aren’t friends, and certainly not “work family.”

Yay! You made it through this post on exploring work habits that drain our energy and hopefully, we’ll all shift towards energizing practices this year. Don’t beat yourself up if the changes aren’t instant; change takes time and effort, move molehills before you think about moving mountains.

Let’s end with another round of self-reflection on your own work habits.

Which habits resonate with you the most? What steps will you take to break free from these energy drains?

Here’s a reading list if you’d like to know more about Energy-Draining Work Habits:

Now, I’ve got some exciting news to share with you! I’ve been working on something really special, and I can’t wait to spill the beans…

Get ready to dive into the world of poetry with my upcoming book, “Echoes of Existence”, hitting shelves in May 2024. It’s filled with heartfelt poems inspired by real-life experiences and emotions that we all can relate to (including poems on work-life balance, woohoo).

As we get closer to the big reveal, stay tuned for sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes stories, and updates about bringing this book to life. So, mark your calendars and spread the word!

Until next time,

Ri @ Readably Yours

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