Have you got caught up in this instant, efficient and fast business world? Are you working longer hours and giving more in terms of commitment, output, effort and travel hours? Have you lost part of yourself along the way? Sarah Berry shares an extract from her latest book, ‘How To Love The Job You Do‘ and reveals how work can be easier.
Listed below are ten easy steps to help you simplify your work life within a month. The biggest thing you need to appreciate is that you don’t have to work as hard as you might have led yourself to believe to date.
1. Attract new people into your life. Consider inviting new people into your life who don’t perhaps work as hard as you do, and try to learn from them. They are there to help you achieve your new level of simplicity.
2. Be willing to change. If you are ready and willing to change, then change can happen. At this stage, you don’t have to know how and what you need to do; you just have to be prepared to explore the options. Make a habit of asking yourself every day for 30 days, ‘What do I need to do to change?’ Do you need to let go of your high expectations, your high standards and your high demands? Or is it more to do with control? Every day for 30 days ask yourself the same question and if possible write down what comes up. Then you can assess your list at the end of the 30-day period. Has one thing cropped up more than once? Were you surprised by what came up?
3. Look at what you are holding on to. For 30 days ask yourself, ‘What am I holding on to in my job?’ Again, note down on a piece of paper what comes up. Is it your power, your authority, your position, your level of respect, your sense of importance or the fact that you are needed? Let your thoughts come up and just note them down at this stage.
4. Look at and notice all the things you think you should do. For 30 days notice what tasks you are doing at work on automatic pilot without reflecting why you are doing them. Write them down and write next to them what you could do instead. Doing things automatically helps you to ‘feel’ in control but they also burden you at the same time. Try to change your responses.
5. Look at what relationships you are running away from. Work and heavy schedules mean that you lose sight of the importance of certain relationships. Be honest with yourself and for 30 days just notice which relationships you are running away from because you are too busy or working too hard. Is it your partner or spouse, your children, your boss, your colleagues or your clients?
6. Look at what is feeding your ego. What work situations or commitments are feeding your ego and desire to have or do more? Often you can take on too much or commit to things that are complicating your life. Have you any of these and, if so, what are they? Write them down.
7. Look at how you could reduce your working day each day. If your work has begun to creep into your free time, leisure time and weekends, now is the time to stop and look at how you can reduce your working day by as little as ten minutes every day for a month. Then gradually, over the month, you will be working towards working your specified number of hours or contracted hours.
8. Look at how you can communicate to your boss, colleagues and associates the fact that you are simplifying. You may choose to get used to and feel comfortable with the simplification process before you communicate it to others. Or you may decide to tell others straightaway about your simplification programme. Whatever you decide, at some point you have to let people ‘in’ on the change in you, as simplifying goes against the main grain of things.
9. Look at how you can nourish your body. Note down in the 30-day period how you intend to nourish your body better in terms of sleep, diet and exercise and how you intend to spend more time relaxing in nature or doing the things that you really enjoy.
10. Look at how you can become less work-orientated. Work is and can be a big disease. It forces people to stop laughing, forgiving and having fun. It creates, above all, a critical and over-thinking generation of people. It creates people who lose their desire to be sensual and in touch with their thoughts, feelings and desires because there is always a job to do or a boss to be accountable to.
A huge step towards achieving simplicity is to stop over-thinking about your job, your role and your responsibilities. Over-thinking crams your brain full of ideas, concepts, thoughts, worries, feelings and concerns about things that may or may not happen. People who suffer from over-thinking are never at rest or at peace with where they find themselves.
Calm or simplicity comes when you can stop the over-thinking and get to the point of ‘this is it’, right now – a point where you are more liberated, carefree and out of the regiment within your work life. For example, you may like to be organised and tidy but on occasions allow yourself to be a little disorganised. You may pride yourself on being ‘on time’ but occasionally allow yourself to be a little late. You may pride yourself on being reliable but occasionally allow yourself to be a little unreliable.
You can become less work-orientated without losing your ambition, drive and enthusiasm. You are you and are allowed to be less serious about work, and your work colleagues will appreciate you for it. Try to see the funny side of things. As you do this, a calmness and serenity will permeate your working life because your fears will dissolve. No longer will you be running through scenarios in your head.
Notice the change in your energy as you move from being a hectic, serious worker into a worker who can laugh, smile and enjoy work. As you step back from seriousness, work will turn from a struggle into a state of simplicity and balance. Just become aware of how you can drop your intensity about work and the need to ‘be’ or do everything. If you would like to order a copy of Sarah’s latest paperback How to love the job you do CLICK HERE.
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BY: Sarah Berry
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