Notes to My/Your Workaholic Self 

As of late, work has been particularly hard on me and I know it’s been taking a toll on my personal life. I’ve been spending too much time in the office, been getting lesser sleep, and skipping lunch just to get it all done. In short, I’m getting crabby.

It’s supposed to look like a cRab but sorry not sorry, I can’t draw to save my life! 😂

Sure, I had a one-week breather during my out of town trip but as soon as it was over I had to get full-on work mode again. Anyone with a similar job as mine knows that when returning from a week-long vacation, the first thing that you have to attend to is your inbox. Naturally, mine was bursting at its seams. Sure, I know a few secrets in winning the war on emails but when there’s too much, there’s just no way around it. Responding to emails is just one part of my lovely job. I have to process and manage transactions, prepare reports, attend to our partners’ and other stakeholders’ queries via phone if emailing is not sufficient, numerous calls with clients.. you name it! Don’t get me wrong. I love my job, sure, but as we are on a transition phase right now, the workload feels as if it’s twice the amount it used to be and I’m getting so lost. 🙁

There’s no ignoring the downsides of having a full-time job but no matter how overwhelming it can get, there are so many ways to manage it. Shun negativity. Minimize stress. Be more productive and efficient. I don’t claim to be an expert in work management, but I am just jotting down these notes, a list of sorts to get me by when the going gets tough, and it sure is tough right now. Perhaps you may even be better off than I am, but if we ever are on the same boat then this one’s for you.

1. Disconnect after work. Never give in to the urge of opening your work email. Yep, I had come to the point when I just couldn’t stop myself from logging in to my email and responding to queries until I realize that I’d been doing it for more than an hour and I had yet to prepare for sleep. You’re just going to drag some to folders, you say, but nope, don’t even start or you will get lost on your emails. Been there done that and it’s not healthy.

2. Eat healthy. And by healthy, I mean don’t skip meals though if you want to restrict to eating healthy food, then all the better. I was, still am, guilty of this. I almost always skip meals. That 1 1/2 hours of time allotted for break is not a benefit, it is your right and it is your responsibility to take care of yourself. Nourish yourself to energize because you need it. But if you’re not hungry, have a powernap, like I do for most of the time.

3. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. In this age, the # 1 sleep detractor is the mobile phone. It will help to turn it on airplane mode or, at least, on silent mode. The lesser the distractions, the higher the probability of dozing off early. When you’re well-rested, you wake up on time. If you wake up on time, you will have enough time to prepare for the day– and this is plenty important to me because I need the extra time to blowdry my hair (I hate going out with wet hair!) and choose which clothes to wear without having a panic attack. Thank God I don’t wear makeup. I heard some girls take a couple of hours to do theirs. As for me, I’d use that extra time for snooze. When I have enough sleep, I am less grumpy. My mind is more relaxed. I get more work done. In short, I become more productive.

4. Dress nice. I don’t know why but I always feel better when I am wearing a smart outfit or my favorite dress. When you dress nice and good, you get an instant confidence boost. Don’t report to work in your sweats and hoodies else you’ll feel sleepy. Been there done that. 😆

5. Don’t be too hard on yourself. There are times when the quality of your work is just off. Or you’re taking too much time than necessary working on a particular issue when on some days it would only take you less than five minutes. Or you just can’t do things right. In short, you’re having a bad day. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Yep, this is my best advice to myself. When something goes wrong, I overthink. I get frustrated. I would dwell on it and talk nonstop about it. Well if you are like that too then stop. Talk about it once or twice then move on. Also remember that there are good days and they far outweigh the bad ones.

6. Have a dose of self-love. A little of this won’t hurt. Stop feeling insecure. You are enough. You are good. You deserve to love yourself because if others can, why can’t you? And don’t ever think that no one loves you because I’m pretty sure someone does and appreciates you no matter how ugly you feel and inadequate. So, yes, self-love, because you matter. Take care of yourself. Don’t let yourself become ill. Don’t exhaust yourself. Forgive yourself in the face of blunders. These shall past. You matter at work. You are an important part of a project and without you, your team couldn’t have made it.

7. Be the best version of yourself. Don’t be a slacker. Leave no rooms for mediocrity. Do your best in everything that you do. Stop being complacent, instead innovate. It’s alright to make mistakes once or twice but make sure you’ve learn from them. But if you can, avoid, because, for real, most mistakes are avoidable if you are careful.

8. Be realistic and accept the volume of workload in the most professional way. Learn how to say no. It is not good to saturate your agenda with too many assignments when in the end, you won’t meet the deadline, or the quality of your work is not up to par. I am not going to say “slowly but surely” because sometimes, the volume is higher than usual. Instead,  plan, organize, and be resourceful. Make use of technology/tools to help with your productivity.

9. Love your job. Yes, of course, because if you don’t, you’ll die. Literal and figurative. It’s your bread and butter. It’s what funds your travels and fine dining experiences and your wardrobe and gadgets allowance. Seriously, don’t take a job that doesn’t suit you or just so you can pay your bills and put food on your table. It has to be more than that. It has to have more meaning in your life. Be passionate and proud of what you do. You have to care (but not too much), hey you’re not a machine. If you don’t love your job, or if you don’t develop passion in it, you’ll just feel miserable like you can’t wait to get it done and over with and that’s not good.

10. Don’t judge and don’t set standards that are just too high. Sometimes, you (think you) are just too good, no sarcasm intended, because you just are. But don’t expect others to be just as good as you are or to have the same discipline and work ethics as you do because they aren’t and they don’t. If it’s a colleague, well don’t get yourself riled up, don’t stress yourself as long as they are not making a personal attack on you. If you are someone’s mentor, try to emphatize, try to know the person and don’t judge them outright if they don’t suit your standards. Instead, try to understand them and from there, you can agree on how the both of you are going to achieve your goals as a team.

11. Promote harmony. If there are issues with a colleague, talk about it. Be openminded and act like the mature adult that you are. No two persons think alike and so it will be extremely unhelpful to stop having a touchpoint after a misunderstanding. Yes, this happened to me before and to cut the story short, nothing good came out of it. As a whole, your team has a goal/s and as a team, you have to work harmoniously with one other to achieve your goal/s.

12. Pamper yourself. Get a massage, a haircut, a makeover, a hand paraffin, a foot spa, and all the other things you can think of to relax and make you feel better. Go somewhere without too many plans in mind and it better be some place quiet, preferrably greeny and grassy and cool.

13. Always wear a smile and be happy because more facial muscles are getting worked up and worn out when you frown. Your choice. Wear a smile, it will make you feel and look better. If you find it hard to smile then think of happy or funny thoughts and I bet you’ll start laughing in no time. Be happy just because, you know what, life is good and that should be reason enough to be happy about. 😉

If you have tips that are not on this list, please feel free to share on the comments below! Thanks for reading!


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