Some Holiday Week Wisdom: How to Have More Energy, Less Stress

From the HR blog at TLNT. Photo illustration by Dreamstime.
From the HR blog at TLNT. Photo illustration by Dreamstime.

No one cares how hard you work.

Your company can absorb an unlimited amount of work from you, and they won’t appreciate it. It’s up to you to change things.

Re-write the script of how your job impacts your happiness and fulfillment. Fire the current writers that keep putting you in crappy, soul-sucking scenes, and start writing your own new screen play for the time you spend at work.

Every month I do a webinar and then publish a summary on my blog.

Some of the key ideas we covered in this webinar are:

Protect what matters

1. Be YOU. Feeling like the real you is not welcome at work drains too much energy. We talked about how to bring your real self to work, and how much that matters. The daily personality lobotomy is just too painful.

2. Know what you value. Think about what is important in your life. Then think through the things you hate about your job. Be really clear about the gap. Make a plan to do something different.

3. Don’t zero out. If something is important to you, family, adventure, peace and quiet… don’t go through life feeling you are getting zero of this because of your job. Zero feels really stressful. Do something small. There is a much bigger psychological and energy gain between zero and a little than there is between a little and a lot.

Deal with being overwhelmed

4. Activity does not equal value. Getting control of your workload so you are not overwhelmed and working 24×7 is actually viewed by your management as a positive leadership behavior, not a liability. Being busy isn’t impressing anyone.

Re-negotiate your workload

5. Short term, renegotiate your workload to have more impact and don’t try and do everything. Catch everything but don’t try and do it all. You need to re-invent the workload to excel at a few key things. Effective leaders do this all the time.

6. Long term, re-define the content of your job so that in includes more of what you thrive at and less of what you find draining. This can take awhile. We talked about how to do this.

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7. Add more Value. You need to propose how your modified role adds even more value to the company, not just how it’s more enjoyable for you! You win when you tune your role so you can thrive and your company benefits.

Take more control

8. Redefine the interaction you have with stupid annoying people that cause you stress. And don’t take it home.

9. Don’t expect work to provide all your fulfillment. That’s up to you. If you are not getting fulfillment at work, try to tune your work, but also make sure you do things on purpose in your life that give you energy and meaning.

10. Remember, they pay you for the part of the work you hate. Dealing with all the crap that gets in the way of your job, is part of your job.

Make trade-offs on purpose

Sometimes you will accept jobs that take over your life, or are an energy drain because you are making an investment in your career. It feels much better if you make these trade-offs on purpose, for a reason, for a time-bounded amount of time.

Negotiate with your family what you are doing and why. Get their support.

Your work and your life will get better when you take control of and rewriting the things that drain your energy and cause you stress.

This article was originally published on Patty Azzarello’s Business Leadership blog.

Patty Azzarello is the founder and CEO of Azzarello Group. She's also an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/business advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35, and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk). You can find her at patty@azzarellogroup.com .

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