It's 2pm, Wednesday afternoon, you know you have at best three more endless hours left to go until knock off time - happiest hour in most Australian workplaces - and your energy and interest levels are quickly flailing. Not only that but it's only hump day! You realize you're so close, yet so far!
But what if there were some mental and/or physical exercises you could practice, which can quickly and surely improve your outlook and make those last couple of hours and the remaining week more enjoyable? What if you could practice these in the comfort of your office, desk or the machine you've been operating?
Here are my top five ways to change your outlook, I recommend these from personal experience! These are my own, tried and proven, go-to techniques, which have helped get me through those tough hours, no coffee or energy drinks needed!
Make your job more enjoyable, but most importantly, be more productive than you've ever been at this time before! Would you like to gain a competitive advantage over your work colleagues as they seem fatigued and you look like you've gained a second wind? Let's begin.
1. Smile more! - This may seem like a really simple concept but it can do wonders to your self-image. Ever heard the term 'fake it till you make it'? This is a perfect description on why simply smiling at these tough times will change your frame of mind and make you feel like you can cope with pressure or even fatigue easier. Have a funny, witty quip at your workstation which makes you smile, share a quick joke with a colleague or simply exercise your face into a smile, simple techniques yet highly effective if implemented properly.
2. Think Positive Thoughts/Affirmations - Positive thinking will get you through! Use it to your advantage when you can. Use positive, affirmative words especially in times when you are feeling most vulnerable or overwhelmed. Tell yourself "I can and I will be OK' or 'I can do this, have done it in the past, and will do it again easily'. Shut out any negative, doubtful thoughts immediately choosing a positive affirmation and focusing on its meaning then, keep busy! The point here is to strengthen your mind to kick-start and re-boot on call, when you need it to. You're a lion, take what's yours!
3. Stay calm and Focus - I know it may be late in the day and all you can think of is finishing up and getting out of there but stay calm and focus. Take a deep breath until your lungs are full, then release, slowly, do this every time you feel you're stress levels are going up. When talking to people, focus on what they are telling you, this can be difficult at times but it's a must! By engaging in conversation, your mind will re-boot so to speak and you'll find you're on your way to a second wind of productivity.
4. Stand tall! - Earlier I mentioned smiling to boost your sub-conscious mind into being happier. Standing tall or straight and using positive body language, can do wonders for your self-esteem, go on try it now! Sit up straighter at your desk or stand up straighter where you are. Positive body language will go far in not only getting your work colleagues to pay attention and see you as a respected figure but also kick-start your sub-conscious and giving you that confidence you need.
5. Take care of yourself in and out of work - Who has time for exercise right? You either need to be up at the crack of dawn to fit in a workout - if you are working a nine-to-five - or get into a habit of hitting the gym after work, when chances are you are exhausted, especially if your work is physically demanding. If you have trained your mind to exercise pre or post work however, great! This can be one of the most rewarding things you could do and it will do wonders for controlling your mood and maintaining focus, but what I would like to focus on here is looking after yourself to make life easier during your day. Things like drinking more water, this will help keep you hydrated and may help your concentration, I do this day in day out and it works wonders! Choosing healthier foods for breakfast & lunch will help to keep focus and energy levels up. Stretching and moving about especially if your job is sedentary can help keep the mind alert and remember, never skip meals! All this will do is make you cranky and tired, the opposite of what we're trying to achieve!
These are five things I do which I find are the most powerful for helping me not only get through those pesky, last gasp work hours when everybody is just exhausted, but also something I practice in my everyday life, whether it's a stressful situation I need to deal with, an uncomfortable scenario or a task/chore that needs to be done.
There are of course, other tips that can help you through like looking at the bigger picture, hey it's nearly time to go, hang in there! Think of the money, maybe pay-day is midweek at your workplace? However, I find money alone isn't going to be a strong enough motivator to calm you down and focus, the subconscious mind needs more than that, it needs fulfilment of a basic human need which cash alone is not necessarily a motivator in my opinion, research Maslow's hierarchy of needs for a deeper understanding.
This quick guide - though it may seem simple - is powerful, and I guarantee that if not all five tips may work for you, there will be at least one which will be exactly what you need at the time, go ahead, try one today!