WHEN DOES WORK BECOMES PLAY?Written by Rhoberta Shaler
I work an average of ten hours a day and It occurred to me other day that I am retired. Sounds paradoxical, however, it's true. My definition of retirement is time in a person's life when she has opportunity to do exactly what she wants to do all day. So, I'm retired. Are you?
There is another thing I truly like about my definition: it changes my attitude towards my work. Knowing that I am consciously CHOOSING to do what I do makes all difference.
Of course, each one of us at some level is choosing what we are doing every moment. It's 'consciously' part we may be missing. It's possible that we spend time complaining bitterly about our lives without ever actually admitting that we've created our perception of it and our reaction to it. Sure, difficulties arise and, with it, stress. What we do then is also a choice. There is just no escaping that 'choice' thing even though we have hundreds of well-rehearsed reasons and excuses to justify and maintain our discomfort.
Yesterday, I was coaching a young woman of forty who recently had her first child. She had returned to work after only nine weeks with her baby. Her husband works out of town all week and they live on outskirts of a major city to make life more affordable. As we chatted, her tears flowed. Why? Because she is running as fast as she can, multi-tasking all way, justifying every decision on behalf of finances. She is exhausted, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. And, for five and half days a week, she is alone. She is definitely not retired by my definition. We spent our session reviewing her choices.
One of greatest travesties of our current culture is that we are constantly being bombarded with advertising and information to suggest we 'should' be able to do it all without pain, stress or loss IF we really had it all together. Unfortunately that often translates to if we cannot manage every aspect of our lives every minute of our lives without distress, we're simply not good enough. Have you ever felt that? The world works hard to keep us believing its true, but, it's not!
We have to take back our lives. Review our position. Reflect on our choices. Re-consider our values. Re-define success. Re-construct our plan. Re-design our use of time. As you read this, are you noticing that you are feeling something like disappointment, a sinking feeling, or a desire to cry? This will tell you right away that you need to step back and do following:
STEPS FOR TAKING BACK YOUR LIFE:
Take a weekend just for yourself. Wear only comfortable clothes. Turn off computer, phone, cell phone. Have a brand, new journal and pen ready. This is your time.
Spend first twelve hours sleeping because most folks are chronically over-tired yet another symptom of our 'be-everything, do-everything, have-everything myth'. When you wake up, luxuriate in knowledge that this time is just for you. Nowhere to go, no one to please, nothing that has to be done. When is last time you could say that? Notice that, too.
SMOOTHING RUFFLED FEATHERSWritten by Rhoberta Shaler
In world of birds, ruffled feathers is one sign of a virus. Isn't that also case at work? Ruffled feathers can spread like a virus throughout your office, department or corporation. Depending on influence of 'ruffled one', that spread can be fatal.
Infected birds shed virus by exhaling and excreting. Isn't this what happens in workplace? Gossip and anger can quickly change workplace environment from healthy to malicious. And, it's very contagious.
When words are involved, a high level of refinement of virus is possible. Stories change subtly. Emphasis is given to different aspects by different people. Additions are appended. Motives are questioned. Assumptions are made. Often, initial act becomes entirely unrecognizable in a very short time.
What to do? Be H.I.P.!
Here are three tips for smoothing ruffled feathers as soon as you notice them. If you are 'ruffler', implement these immediately. If you are 'ruffled', these work for you as well.
OK, you may be thinking, 'It was honesty that got me into this position in first place!" True, you may have blurted out some unvarnished truth in a moment of frustration. That's often fastest way to ruffle a few feathers.
Now that you have calmed down some, it is time for a different kind of honesty. First, be honest with yourself. What was your intention when you opened your mouth? Did you intend to inflict pain? Did you intend to create tension and dissention? Did you really just want to smack other person and you did it with your words? Or, were you just a little clumsy in trying to rectify a frustrating situation?
Now, if you are completely honest, it is likely that you so wanted rid of your frustration that you were lacking a little finesse. Right? If that is case, you can now go to person you ruffled and truthfully say that hurt was not your intent. Be honest about your outburst and identify it as a less than effective way of releasing your pain. Ask if you can discuss issue and work out a solution that is acceptable to you both.
Oh, so, you really did want them to feel small, dumb and inferior? You're on your own...likely looking for a new position. Of course, if you're boss and you did this, you're also on your own...looking for new employees!