Don’t sweat the small stuff

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I have found it a good time to pull out one of my favourite books written by Richard Carlson, PHD. It is titled Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work, and offers simple ways to minimise stress and conflict while bringing out the best in yourself and others.

It offers a great number of tips that I will share with you here and in upcoming articles. All of them are gems, and I have always found them a good way of keeping things in perspective and maintaining focus.

Here are a few to start with:
• Dare to be happy — if you dare to be happy, your life will begin to change immediately.
• Become less controlling — as you let go of your need to be too controlling, people will be more inclined to help you; they will want to see you succeed.
• Have some “No Phone” time at work — avoid constant interruptions that break your concentration. This allows greater productivity and means that calls can be returned when the things you’ve set out to do have been done.
• Stop anticipating tiredness — people often talk themselves into tiredness. They anticipate feeling exhausted which reinforces the tiredness. Avoid the tendency to do this.
• Being dead is bad for business — by remembering this phrase, you will begin taking better care of yourself, physically and emotionally. You will feel better, be happier, and probably live longer.

• Remember to acknowledge — people love to be praised and acknowledged. They remember it and respond positively to it. Offering genuine acknowledgement can produce loyalty and forgiveness when needed.
• Don’t keep people waiting — making someone wait can have a huge impact on your relationship with them. Additionally, when you are late, you are often scrambling and under pressure. 

Avoid the additional stress.
• Brighten up your work environment — it’s really nice to walk in and feel good about where you will spend your day. Make it bright, cheery and friendly, and it’ll be hard to walk in and not feel the same way.
• Take your breaks — failure to take regular breaks is an enormous mistake that wears you down and makes you less productive.
• Make a list of your personal priorities — this is very important to the quality of your life. When you are busy and working hard, tired and overwhelmed, it’s easy to postpone or overlook your true priorities.

• Make friends with your receptionist — treat your receptionist as a key partner in your life. A good, efficient and happy receptionist can take a huge load off you and other staff.
• You catch more flies with honey — simply put, it pays to be nice. When you are kind, loving and patient, when you are fair, a good listener, and when you genuinely care about others, your attitude comes across in all you do. People will respond positively to that.

• Stay focused in the now — so often, our attention wanders off into the future. We think (and worry) about many things at once, for example, deadlines and potential problems. The quality of “being in the moment” has far more to do with what’s going on in your mind than what’s going on in your office. The greatest benefit of being fully present is that your work and family life will become far more enjoyable.
• Absorb the speed bumps of your day — think of typical work problems as speed bumps. Simply thinking and labelling your problems as speed bumps, instead of problems, can make them much more manageable.

• Never, ever backstab — it is mean spirited and unfair. It can make you look bad, and lose the respect of others. People will know that if you are capable of backstabbing others, you are capable of doing the same to them. Don’t do it.

There are many more of these little reminders about how we should conduct ourselves. I will keep them coming through when space allows, and hope they are of interest and are helpful.