Five Great Tricks for the Healthy Office Worker’s Mind

by Ali on May 22, 2008

Here’s five things you can keep telling yourself throughout the day, when you’re getting to a sticky-point at work. I call them the “I’ll just…” tricks.

  1. “I’ll just finish replying to these emails before I get a cookie.”
    Waiting twenty minutes outlasts the craving – you’ll be able to resist that cookie without much effort. And if your inbox is anything like mine, by the time you’ve done that batch of emails, a few more will have come in … a great distraction from snacking!
  2. “I’ll just go for a quick walk, then things won’t seem so overwhelming.”
    Maybe your boss is demanding the report by five – that report you’ve not even started – and the phone is constantly ringing to herald yet another annoyed client. It’s easy to tense up, and start to feel overwhelmed and panicked. Even if taking two minutes out seems the last thing you want to do, get up and walk around for a bit – perhaps to the water cooler and back: you’ll get that much-needed perspective.
  3. “I’ll just smile, even though I don’t feel like it.”
    Whether it’s a colleague you really can’t get on with, a demanding client or your computer acting up – sometimes you feel the best you can do is grit your teeth and bear it. If you can manage a smile, or a friendly word, you’ll find your perspective starts to change. It might seem fake at first, but you’ll soon end up feeling as cheerful as you look: definitely better than turning to chocolate to deal with your frustration.
  4. “I’ll just get the file out.”
    There’s always some job we want to put off. It might be chasing up outstanding invoices, dealing with that long and irate email from a customer, or starting on an important report. Procrastination never works, though; deciding to tidy your desk or archive your emails will only mean you have to deal with the big job the next day. And needless to say, wandering to the vending machine for a snack won’t help either! Figure out the first tiny step (getting the file out, opening a new word document), and start there. Once you’ve begun, your resistance to the job will begin to fade.
  5. “I’ll just do five minutes in the gym before I head home.”
    Hands up if you really, truly, always look forward to your workout after a long day in the office. Anyone? But once you’ve been to the gym, you feel much less stressed and more energised. Focus on that post-workout glow, if you can, but if you really think you can’t face going to the gym, promise yourself that you only have to get changed and spend five minutes working out. Chances are, you’ll end up doing your full routine anyway.

(Image above by minifig)

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