38 years back when I was making my choice of profession the job options were generally limited to government departments as the Multi-National Companies (MNCs) had not yet set foot on Indian shores. What a transformation it has been from then to now in the office work culture; then there was no concept of weekends, we all used to work 8 hours a day, six days a week with Sunday providing the only break, life was cool, the stress level low, the output generally good, satisfaction level high and then the MNCs set foot on our land and along with them not just came the culture of weekends off but also the culture of spending endless hours in the office, high stress and low satisfaction levels. Everybody seems to be so busy that leave alone having time for others most do not have even enough or no ‘me’ time.
The automation and all the modern technological gadgets were supposed to have made life easier but apparently have had a totally opposite effect with life getting busier with every new invention. Instead of helping in cutting down the time one spends in offices the new technologies have helped in taking the office to the homes and now there is no respite even in the bedrooms with the constant pings of received emails/ messages and the persistent ringing of phones.
What is that is making ‘salaried class’ work overtime and yet leaving them most of them unsatisfied and stressed? The first and foremost problem which stands between happiness and me is ‘me and my attitude’, the attitude of taking every new assignment as a challenge instead of seeing as an opportunity. Try changing the narrative and in all probability the outcomes will change. I have to set my own benchmarks and work to achieve them, wrong setting of standards at the initial stage will lead to unsatisfactory outcomes.
The second problem comes from habit of trying to do everything ourselves, lack of trust on others. Delegation – downward, lateral or upward, should be made use of to the maximum for equitable distribution of work and cutting down the time required; so better delegate and fix responsibility.
Try and schedule all important meetings and discussions in the first half of the day when the mind is fresh and more receptive. Later half of the day may be used for routine office work.
Breaks are a must to keep the mind fresh; even small tea breaks and interaction with colleagues helps in rejuvenating thoughts
One working day which everyone from working class detests is Monday who wants to be in the office after a long weekend; it is so difficult to get out of the bed and even after one manages to reach office after some serious efforts lethargy and laziness takes over every now and then directly affecting the output. Everyone deserves a break after five days of hard work but unfortunately this very weekend break is responsible for the Monday blues more than anything else. The Saturday night ‘fever’, the late-night party, the heavy drinking sessions or even a weekend escape out of town which more often than not instead of rejuvenating ends up tiring the body and mind.
The way out lies in planning the weekend well; no need to pack too much in the two days break, at least the Sunday should be used to rest and rejuvenate while Saturday may still be devoted to dance, drink and party. A well-planned routine and prioritisation of work will help in achieving the set targets even on a Monday.
Disciplined sleep timings and food habits further aids in maintaining energy through the day and improving output. One must sleep well and get up fresh to remain fresh through the day. A good workout or a morning walk further helps in rejuvenating the mind and body. Timely healthy meals and adequate water consumption through the day keeps the mind fresh specially after the lunch break. A short power nap during the lunch break works wonder for many.
Mobile discipline must be strictly implemented in the daily life; keep the notification off unless absolutely necessary, refrain from picking up and scrolling through the phone on every ping and avoid making long personal conversations during office hours. Even at home the phone must be kept away during meals and even at night try and keep it outside the bedroom to prevent it from interfering unnecessarily with your sleep or from coming between you and your spouse during your personal moments. Try and maintain six feet social distance with your phone to dedicate your time purposefully to your personal, social and official obligations.
Small changes in personal habits and a creative daily schedule will go a long way in keeping the mind and body energised through the better part of the day.