Thursday, July 07, 2005

There are various ways that we can deal with stress at work. There are not many that are constructive however!!!

I am more used to writing blogs in rock-band websites, and havent written anything 'serious' for about 7 years, so probably wont publicize this blog until it's acheiving its purpose, which is as a source of how one particular person recognised the source of stress and lack of optimum performance at work, and attempted to solve it - and in doing so helping others by forming a constructive pattern of positive action as well as forever losing the 'victim' tag.

Over the weekend, I read Andrea Adams' book on Bullying in the Workplace, and the book was enlightening to say the least, and I began to realise that throwing the same I Ching trigram twice in a row, both at a time when I felt threatened at work - 1 The Creative and 44 Coming to Meet (with the first line moving) - meant I had to stand up for myself, even though I was being beseiged with negative feedback!

The little compartments of our lives - home, work, social, love - can often mean we have different 'faces', and while not exactly appearing different in each one, often finding that people treat us differently in each one. This facet can happen, too, at work. The most important thing in that respect is the work, and an optimally professional outlook.

So the symptoms of stress, in my case, were :-
- not being able to relax out of work, always worrying about it, which carried forward last week INTO work, so i was uptight when i got there this has been reduced by talking to my supervisor, and also doing sudoku number puzzles in the paper each day; also seeing a counsellor
- when overload hits, my mind went into answering the next query asap without total concentration on the matter
- my eyesight, severely strained by a database job, was such a worry it seems I started to look at a scheduling program as little as possible which led me to make big mistakes i now have a new pair of glasses, and was surprised when i got a prescription for computer work, which led me to the above conclusion
- shaking hands and a involuntary neck spasm when concentrating on the computer the neck spasm may be hereditary, but both it and the hands seem to be related to computer work, and the first step for me is to have regular breaks to stand up and stretch, and also concentrate on neck and back stretching as a daily exercise
- making mistakes at work which with careful hindsight I have decided can be alleviated by regaining my supervisor's confidence; thinking twice before I make a statement; and asking a colleague to listen to my side of the story

So here is my original plan, to work on :
- when i first get to work, i relax, look at the diary, visualise in my mind when certain people will arrive, and thus the first possible distractions from concentrated work
- when i start a project, knowing that at any time a phone call or reception client may interupt, as well as another member of staff, to plan to be able to stop working on the project (ie break concentration), take a nanosecond moment for oneself and to count to ten / breathe, and then approach the next action with full concentration and ability.
- beating isolation by asking some of colleagues from nearby department if i can join them for lunches sometimes; concentrating awareness of physical position in office so that do not get startled by any customer, internal or external, and being able to take on their emotional message as an aside to the work demand

I haven't yet been in the workplace to carry out any of the above, or met with my supervisor and their assistant manager, but thanks to a lot of retrospection and the reading of Andrea's book, as well as my supervisor offering to act as a mentor as I concentrate on learning customer service skills, I feel that I am capable of regaining respect in this particular job.

So if this site works it's a work in progress that will end up as an article on one person's approach to happier work! See you soon....


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