I don’t know how far and where the roots of “work like a dog”, “Hump day”, “little Friday”, “TGIF” come from. I also don’t know who taught us to “work your *ss off” at a workplace, how to “bust a hump” about a project, be afraid of a manager, work under stress, participate in vanity races, and imitating a busy look.
I think that we have not absorbed this attitude to work with mother’s milk, but “it happened” that an unconstructive, in fact, oppressive attitude to work is present in many companies and teams. Often in the smokers/kitchen, we talk about difficulties and hardships of professional life, dream of rest, wait for Fridays, and then, on a Sunday evening, start to get ready for a “painful Monday”. At the same time, our professional activity takes from 50 to 80% of our time.
What are the conscious and subconscious reasons for being resistant to work itself and resistance at your workplace? Is it possible to create acceptable living and working conditions in the workplace? How to become happy simply by doing your job? We will look for answers to these and other questions below.
Reasons for Resistance
Here and beyond, resistance will be seen as rejection/conflict/ avoidance of what is already happening, the situation or process we are already in. By resisting, we seem to turn in on ourselves, create friction inside, support internal conflict, and withdraw/exclude ourselves from what we are directly in. As a result, we live in a situation but (!) at the same time spend much more energy, do not get experience, feel constantly tired, accumulate the inner martyr complex. And we simply do not have the opportunity to consider, understand, and dot the i’s in order to complete and get out because all our energy was spent on resistance.
According to HomeDweller.com, one of the common reasons that creates a refrain of internal resistance to work is to compare ourselves to others. And It doesn’t matter if we are a young professional or an experienced one, we contrast our pros and cons by giving “+” or “-” compared to someone else. When doing so, we are not aware that a person we compare ourselves to, has its own “list of individual inputs.” We are not interested in that, we continue to compare. We are focused on others, we are “abandoned” by ourselves. As a result, there is constant tension, bad mood, and distracted attention.
Naturally, we subconsciously begin to resist a situation in which we experience similar internal discomfort. Subsequently, this can lead to a nervous breakdown, conflict, and job change.
How to help yourself? Everything starts with being attentive to yourself and when another “Mr. X is cooler than me” thought attacks your mind, switch attention to what you are busy with at the moment. Ask yourself, “What can I do for myself now?” and do it.
Strong resistance to work creates “fear of making a mistake” and “fear of punishment.” What is the nature of these fears?
If we forget that we are human beings and begin to demand godlike flawlessness from ourselves, we are guaranteed to have both of these fears. Contrary to the common misconception that “fear of making a mistake” and “fear of punishment” are experienced by people with low self-esteem, it is worth noting that only overrated self-esteem and exсsessive demands to ourselves are the “parents” of such fears.
Distinctive is also the fact that those who are afraid to make a mistake are ruthless to the mistakes of others. Those who are afraid to make a mistake and torment themselves with fear of punishment may often make mistakes and, of course, receive constructive feedback on the work performed. At the same time, they perceive any criticism as either with hostility or self-pity. In fact, the work is done quite poorly, the development is sluggish, and the natural result – resistance to everything and everyone that provokes the emergence of these worries.
What to do? Remember that we are no gods, just living people. It is our nature, to learn. And we learn well and make fewer mistakes if we get involved in what we do, i.e. we need to learn to get ourselves back, from “intellectual selfishness” to contracts, reports, meetings, phone calls, numbers, and graphs. What can I say – banal, absolutely “not divine” but simple, efficient, and effective.
An apparent resistance to work can be caused by objective conditions: uncomfortable working place, a difficult and long way from work to home, lack of a parking lot and many other social reasons. The natural reaction of resistance, and, subsequently, dissatisfaction, will arise if we spend 2 hours to get to work and 2 hours to get back. In such a situation, we must be sober and understand why we accept such conditions, clearly understand what kind of compensation we receive for ourselves. At the same time, when assessing this situation, there should be more pros, otherwise, this compromise will turn into strong resistance and will affect both work and quality of life in general. As for the “uncomfortable workplace”, you should organize and make it comfortable for yourself.
- Taking care of ourselves
Everything starts with the right and healthy motivation which neutralizes resistance. The right motivation is to honestly admit to yourself that “my job is my choice.” “Yes, my choice. And then the quality of my work, the intensity of my investment, the amount of energy I spend is independent of my manager; my attention is focused on the process and result, I learn every day, in every situation, I learn to build and adjust the communication and atmosphere. How else can it be?! This is MY job and the quality of MY life. That’s why I’m learning to take care of myself…” (c) from the monologue of an employee in love with his work.
Through proper motivation, we minimize resistance and create space for growth and professional development. Notice that it is not a career but a professional one. Because often the career growth does not correspond to the growth of professionalism.
- Working “under a palm tree”
It is quite simple and at the same time extremely difficult – you need to create comfortable conditions for yourself at your workplace, i.e. to make this place 100% your own. What does it mean? You should feel comfortable first of all. Whether it is open space, whether there is a neighbor or any other reasons, you can, or rather, you need to bring something personal to your workplace, to arrange it “for yourself”. And it does not have to be photos of you and your family – it can be stickers of the color you like this week – it is no secret that color creates and influences the mood.
“The devil is in the detail” is an ancient Arabic proverb that is relevant in a modern office. When many things are standardized and formatted, it is the details that will bring a sense of comfort and individuality.
- Contacts and Сommunications
A must-have of a modern office and modern professionalism. No matter how well business processes are described, the human factor plays a key role. The human factor is emotion and atmosphere. Above we have listed the reasons for resistance to work, so the lack of communication or poor quality, conflict, destructive communications are one of the leading causes of stress, resistance and dismissal. We are all people, we are emotions and relationships. No matter how much we try to get around or suppress the topic of emotional influence, it will still be a leading one, regardless of whether we are aware of its importance or suppress it.
In order to create a comfortable and invigorating work climate, we can follow certain rules.
- Do not support gossip, discussion, discontent or indignation in conversations. Often my colleagues and I tend to discuss “unfair treatment”, “stupid tasks”, “dumb instructions”, “jealousy of opportunities”, “demonstration of benefits”, etc. in a sensible manner. These conversations are of no use, and the emotional background creates a “corresponding problem”. And there is, in fact, no problem, but the mood is ruined, a certain “charge” is received. We do not know how it will resonate, but we can accompany this impression with attention until its influence dies out.
- Speak only when you are being listened to and do not speak when you are not. You will become more attentive to yourself and to your companion. The quality of communication will be improved by 80%, the number of mistakes, repetitions and misunderstandings will be reduced.
- Ask your colleague if he/she has a chance to contact you, listen to you. Otherwise, it is an invasion of a colleague’s space.
- Remember that we always have time for quality communication. We still spend time on communication, so let’s do it qualitatively. Find out how the person you are talking to understand things, ask them about how they can assimilate the information they receive. Develop yourself and your colleagues, and it will grow into mutual understanding and partnership in your workplace.
- Daily Сreativity. Our Own Artists
There are no noncreative professions. By the nature of my work, working with various specializations and different companies, I have discovered for myself that “accountant” and “lawyer” are creative professions. We can bring creativity to each of our activities. Creativity in everyday life is a search for options to make our work pleasant and comfortable for ourselves. We need to create elements of pleasure for ourselves. I do not talk about avoiding, refusing, working at our own pace, delaying the deadline. Creativity is about making hard easy, and that’s what interests us. There are standard workflows, but they have creativity in them. The goal is not to make our professional activity the “divine retribution”, it has to be on our radar; we should be visible to ourselves in our daily work and see both our own formality and creativity in every day.
The term “involvement” has been actively used in the delivery mode for the last 2-3 years. And it is a pity if it remains a term. Involvement as inclusion. This is not an algorithm or a scheme. Inclusion is a presence, it is our presence in what we are busy with, in what we do. It is to read a contract and do just that at that very moment. It is to make a report without being somewhere else in our thoughts. Involvement can be compared to that device plugged into a socket. There is current in the device, it works. The trick question is how to turn it on – sounds simple, but quite difficult to do. You need to pay attention to yourself: start to get interested in details and delve into it. When we delve into it, we get involved. If we are involved, we accept and understand. Positive circle. Therefore, transfer your attention, start to get interested and understand.
- Happiness when you are heard.
- Happiness when you are in contact and “in the know”.
- Happiness when you are a process participant.
- Happiness depends on us taking care of ourselves, our involvement and inclusion.
By learning every day, we make the transition from an unhappy employee to a happy professional who is able to find a reasonable balance between life and work.
Author bio: Roy Emerson is a technology enthusiast, a loving father of twins, a programmer in a custom software company, editor in chief of TheHomeDweller blog, greedy reader, and a gardener