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Having trouble at work

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  • Having trouble at work

    I am just starting to get gtd. However I am in a stressful work environment and many of my colleagues offload their stress onto others, they have a range of health issues that appear to be related to work. How do you stop yourself from being engulfed in despair with so much negativity. Any ideas or clues are gratefully accepted.http://www.davidco.com/forum/images/...s/icon_sad.gif

  • #2
    I suggest making an area of focus that is something like "Take care of myself" or whatever resonates with you. Just that much will remind you of the need to protect yourself, but it will also lead to projects and next actions that will help you cope. For example, you might decide to take a walk as part of your lunch break, decide to look for another job, look for a book on stress management, or whatever feels right for your situation.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hang in there

      Don't let others effect you and your well being. It's easier said then done, but it is my best advise. Find a way to stay grounded and in good spirits.

      Comment


      • #4
        The culture at my workplace has been very negative for a long time but it's starting to turn around. The CEO finally realised how much money the business lost annually because of high employee turnover and the consequent loss of knowledge and momentum.

        We've now hired some business coaches to help us instill a new culture and practice. It's still early in the process but it's already helping. One of the key things they've asked us to do is avoid "playing below the line", i.e. negative talk, blame, gossip, all the stuff that doesn't bring a more productive workplace along with permission for everyone to be able to challenge whenever they think someone is playing below the line. Another is "to always assume positive intent", i.e. don't immediately view anything that's said or done as negative.

        There's lots more to it and it's a complex web of initiatives, and it's a slow process to turn around ingrained culture. It would not be easy to do any of this alone so I'd suggest you find some like-minded individuals who want to work in a better environment so you can collectively start to make it happen.

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        • #5
          At the risk of *really* being perceived as too negative (or maybe I just had too long a day today):

          Over the decades and with a variety of employers, I have found that nothing ever really changes. You have to take charge of your life. You have to decide (not just acquiesce) whether the physical, mental, and emotional toll is worth all (any?) of the good things about the job (including, obviously, the money).

          I have walked away from a job that paid me more money than I had ever made in my life (to that point) but where I was often eating Pepto Bismol as though it were candy without another job to go to and with no prospects for one. Within just a few weeks, I was physically and emotionally healthier than I had been in months, even though I was unemployed.

          It took me years to recover career-wise from that decision. Being unemployed (or under-employed) is not fun; it's not pretty; it doesn't build character. You endure it and, to the best of your ability, move on with your life. It can be done. Life is too short; there is no reason to be miserable almost every waking hour.

          I have never subscribed to a "yeah-rah-rah" (cheer-leading) attitude or approach to anything. I realize that I am a pessimist, but all of my surprises are pleasant ones.

          Joe

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          • #6
            One of our colleagues on the forums has a "Joy List" - A list of items that bring them joy. Perhaps you could create your own list to look at and help keep your spirits up if you are feeling the negativity get to you? I wish you all the best with dealing with your situation and really hope that some of the suggestions that you get here might help.
            With best wishes
            Sarah

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            • #7
              Yes - in what do you find Joy?

              Thanks for the shout-out! I do have a "Gives me Joy" list that really does help ground me. I review it at every weekly review and read it whenever I need a smile and a pick-me-up.

              But what really helped me at work was a solid review and rewrite of my Areas of Focus. A couple of years ago I took a hard look over a few days and really thought about my job and the responsibilities of the job. I looked over my job description and added in all those other "duties as assigned" which often become the greatest part of a job. At the end of it I had 6 specific areas of focus and a realization that I really love my job. (I think I posted about that at the time, too..) Knowing that makes dealing with day-to-day nonsense a whole lot easier!

              Everyone has days, weeks or longer when work (or life) is just a little off. Sometimes you need to get down to basics to determine what you need to do about it. Constant negativity at work is hard to combat with personal positivity. It wears you down and can affect your health and happiness. But if you find those nuggets of goodness and can build on them a plan to not just survive your work day but thrive then the situation is not lost. Sometimes, however, you are best to cut your losses and look elsewhere.

              As we've all been sadly reminded of again again the past few weeks, life is too unpredictable. You have to live each day being the person you want to be while you have the chance.

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              • #8
                Two cents

                I love Siobhan's answer..and her postings in the Connect Forum. She is always an inspiration.

                Taking your issue down to its most basic level, though, you really have only two responses: You can change yourself or you can change your environment. Nobody on the face of the earth has ever changed anyone else (unless that person wanted to change.) So you can change your response to the negativity or choose to go be very happy somewhere else.

                But you know what? In every workplace there is someone who seems to be super negative. It's probably worth at least trying to develop the skill of dealing with negative people (see Amazon.com and start reading) because you'll encounter them again and again. All the tips given will help you insulate yourself a bit as well. Also make sure your non-work life is full of fun and laughter to help compensate--that is completely within your control.

                Best wishes with your journey and please keep us posted!
                Last edited by Barb; 05-23-2013, 03:17 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  What's your reminder word?

                  Originally posted by Barb View Post
                  So you can change your response to the negativity or choose to go be very happy somewhere else.
                  I think you're in the right spot to start changing this because you recognise the problem. What I have found helpful is finding a word or phrase that you start to think when the situation arises. If a colleague tells you something designed to pass you the stress ball, think that thought. When you're working late and suddenly catch that you're doing it because of an unreasonable expectation or stress ball, think that thought. When you get home and find that you're not engaged in the conversation because you're thinking about work, think that thought.

                  Eventually you'll see that you're catching more of those circumstances, and think that thought waaaayyy too often, and you'll do something about it.

                  A couple of the phrases I have used:
                  "i am only 1 woman"
                  "stay above the fray"
                  Last edited by enyonam; 05-25-2013, 01:36 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Good stuff there!

                    Originally posted by enyonam View Post
                    I think you're in the right spot to start changing this because you recognise the problem. What I have found helpful is finding a word or phrase that you start to think when the situation arises. If a colleague tells you something designed to pass you the stress ball, think that thought. When you're working late and suddenly catch that you're doing it because of an unreasonable expectation or stress ball, think that thought. When you get home and find that you're not engaged in the conversation because you're thinking about work, think that thought.

                    Eventually you'll see that you're catching more of those circumstances, and think that thought waaaayyy to often, and you'll do something about it.

                    A couple of the phrases I have used:
                    "i am only 1 woman"
                    "stay above the fray"
                    My friend Enyo--excellent coaching, as usual.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Say good morning

                      Say good morning in a cheerful voice when you get to work. Every day.

                      Have a project (or more!) on You having fun - only you will be taking care of you, so see that you do.

                      You are not their doctor or therapist. You can be their good colleague, a few times even a friend. Like and respect and be polite. Think about the differences in the roles, I think we can be better colleagues that way.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Barb View Post
                        My friend Enyo--excellent coaching, as usual.
                        And you know I was coached by you too right? Just passing it on!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by escapegardens View Post
                          I am just starting to get gtd. However I am in a stressful work environment and many of my colleagues offload their stress onto others, they have a range of health issues that appear to be related to work. How do you stop yourself from being engulfed in despair with so much negativity. Any ideas or clues are gratefully accepted.http://www.davidco.com/forum/images/...s/icon_sad.gif
                          Apart from the workplace environment, how much do you enjoy and find meaning in your work?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you for coming in on this Siobhan - sorry that I didn't credit you in my initial post. I'm afraid I was in a bit of a hurry and had a mental block regarding who had mentioned the joy list!

                            There's some great tips on here from everyone - I love the way the forums are so rich in advice and support! I'm incredibly lucky to work in an environment where most people are reasonably positive but we have our moments and it's really good to have some positive tips to try out when work is getting you down.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mcogilvie View Post
                              I suggest making an area of focus that is something like "Take care of myself" or whatever resonates with you. Just that much will remind you of the need to protect yourself, but it will also lead to projects and next actions that will help you cope. For example, you might decide to take a walk as part of your lunch break, decide to look for another job, look for a book on stress management, or whatever feels right for your situation.
                              Thanks for your reply. I invested my time in sharing time with positive people over coffee and playing pool at lunchtimes. But I staying focused on my projects and have just recently won an award, yay

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