How stop worrying / stressing and getting distracted by issues at work?

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  • How stop worrying / stressing and getting distracted by issues at work?
  • neilco
    Member

    You’re self employed so you’ve obviously got a lot of drive and it’s not illogical that there is stress involved around wanting to perform your role well. I have a similar thing running the Australian office of a UK company where my performance (or not) is pretty clear. What helps for me is recognising that stress is an acceptable part of my situation but that I need to compartmentalise this to focus on areas where I can make a difference and to do this at an appropriate time. I like to ‘own’ things as the feeling of control reduces my stress, so I’ve recently been using an online Kanban tool to ‘list’ the activities I need to address. Having this enables me to de-clutter my mind by capturing issues / worries and addressing them at the right time and in a more structured, productive manner. I use Trello (others are out there) and it syncs nicely across desktop and phone so it’s always there when those thoughts do sneak in at the wrong time so I can park them and come back later without worrying that I’ll drop the ball. That, plus exercise and alcohol 🙂

    joshvegas
    Member

    The one exercise I found to be particularly helpful was to “accept the thought” rather than trying to block it out.

    This technique is called noting. Try headspace i was a massive sceptic and alot of it is meh but the noting excercises are pretty effective for me.

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    I found this book really helpful.

    This is the book by the people who showed that mindfulness worked in medical trials.

    My quick tip would be to write a list of all the things in you life you are grateful for. Do this as often as you need to

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Another thing it pays to remember is that work dont own your time – they <i>rent</i> it between your contracted hours.   When you think of it like this, it helps.

    Dont get me wrong I didnt advocate the total FU to Work that my first post may appear to be – i work hard in a senior and stressful job – but just remember that you’re only being paid for work time, anything else is your right to use elsewhere.  You need to decide whether you submit to bending that rule yourself, with a clear view of the consequences e.g. a reduction in family time.

    They way i deal with that is to set clear rules – phone off by 7pm, <b>nothing</b> disturbs kids storytime, when wfh i walk away from my laptop at 10am, 12:15 and 3pm for coffee/ lunch breaks, and never booking a meeting far from home on a Friday.  I maintain control of my own diary with this in mind

    This has come from the experience of being in your position many times over, and some learning from here and other places

    scandal42
    Member

    The Power Of Now

    A good book around being in the moment, not looking backwards or making up scenarios for future events.

    It takes a bit of dedication and re-reading but if you genuinely can be open to it then I think it can change the way you are.

    You said you need a distraction, this is the problem, you have a distraction. The thoughts of work are a distraction from life that is happening now, not the other way around.

    Premier Icon madmechanist
    Subscriber

    I have a really complicated to explain method..but I do the same..mechanic..I lose sleep over things that I cant control or do anything about..BUT when I get home I utilise the ability to switch between characters..home is me ..work is ‘colin’,etc

    Remembering that the world will **** you over whatever you do is important..fight your corner..no one else’s..

    YOUR 1 human 2 hands 1 brain..you can only do so much ..look after you first them later..

    I find when I’m really stressed I online game..on there you aren’t 1 person ..your a team..and your stronger together then alone..maybe involve your wife? Get her take and trust her to help you with it.. and try talking it over with someelses viewpoint..

    I cycle when I’m angry..just me the bike and the road/trail(cx bike)…and ironically listen to ultra aggressive music(dragonforce,eminem,the score,etc..)and that directs me to be a shouty bastard but it’s no longer going to hurt someone..I wont be any less vulnerable or angry but I’m angry at work aka ‘colin’..and that means I’m often functioning with minimal human interaction at those times..its safe for me to be angry ..and still not hurt someone..

    Finally compartmentisation..when you feel overwhelmed just ‘box it up in it’s own compartment In your head e.g. 1 box work,1 box kids,1 box wife,1 box house,1 box cycling
    NEVER OPEN 2 BOXES AT 1 TIME..you will park those anxieties by tackling 1 problem at a time..its how I’m alive at 22 and not dead at 18(in all seriousness that’s true)..doctors dont know why I can cope but I’m seemingly stable now by this method..and I now respect I can only fix 1 thing at a time..

    knowli47
    Member

    I hear you. Had similar thoughts. I have a 10 month old and I found I was missing or failing to get excited about milestones due to worrying about work and also was no longer excited about time off or bike weekends as it seemed just more hassle….
    I did a number of things: yoga. Once a week at a class. Brilliant.
    Stopped drinking so much coffee. The mind then has more control to solve issues.
    Deleted social media. How is your brain ever going to subconsciously figure out a problem or get excited about life if every 5 minutes you are distracted by some bullshit you didn’t need to know. Yes you miss out on stuff but I found a smaller world was exactly what I needed.
    I also tried switching from self employed to being a cog in a machine, desiring to be bored at work rather than stressed…. Just for 3 days a week. That is not the answer either. Both have their problems. But the rest of what I said has cured them for me. Just chill and do what you can. Without the caffeine, Internet and anxiety racing the brain it is easier to remember to be chill and enjoy doing what you can. If people get annoyed at your pace, **** em. You needn’t tell em you need Wednesdays off to ride bikes in the woods as an essential part of operating your business but know you do and just do it… 😉

    Premier Icon bedmaker
    Subscriber

    I struggle with very similar issues as outlined in the OP. I’m also self employed, working alone.

    I’ve never really had clients ‘kicking off’ to worry about, but it’s the daily juggle which can be hard to deal with.
    There’s some good and bad advice above. Not giving a **** isn’t really an option in this scenario because –

    Our reputation means a lot to me so I want to keep customers happy.

    On the sleep issue, I tried Headspace but found the guys voice irritating so it was binned pretty quickly. Then I read piece on the guy who started it all and how he’s a squillionaire now thanks to being all Zen and minimalist. Even more annoying.
    I would, however, like to give some sort of meditation another proper bash sometime.

    For me, a book on Audible which is just interesting enough to take attention away from work thoughts whizzing around my head, but not so gripping it keeps me awake, has been a real help. A Brief history of Time by Stephen Hawking hits the sweetspot for me. The readers voice is pretty soporific too, as a bonus.

    Lists, many of them, constantly changing, are important for me. Write whatever down, then when it pops back into my head it’s easier to tell myself to forget it. It’s on the list and will be dealt with when I’m back at work.

    Little chunks of daily / weekly time out are infinitely more important than a big holiday once a year.
    I generally drop to a three or four day week from Easter into the summer. It’s a real tonic.

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