Always goal: mind balance
I get to work at 9AM every morning—sometimes earlier—and brace myself for the day ahead. It usually means getting to write an article or two, the occasional event to attend and some meetings in between. Throw in the daily administrative tasks and other business-related things, and it can get a little overwhelming.
Then, of course, there are the days that don’t go according to plan. Priorities change at an alarming rate and there are days that I don’t get to tick off anything that I had initially planned to when I first sit my ass down on my desk.
I’m far from being the most organized person out there, but I’m willing to bet that even the most obsessive compulsive person gets overstimulated in the work place.
The question is: What the fuq do you do to keep your mind balance in check?
Don’t skip the basics
When the work load is piling up, sometimes the only logical thing you can think to do is to switch the necessities for quick fixes in order to keep up. You eat at your desk instead of heading out and you drink coffee instead of water. You might opt to skip breakfast in order to save yourself time or quicken your shower in order to get to bed earlier.
Pull on the breaks because you need to stop these losing negotiations; nail down the basics of your day that keep you feeling human.
Know your peaks
Everyone’s productivity clock is different—learn yours and take advantage of it. If you work more efficiently in the mornings, then put all the heavier items on your to-do list up top on your priorities for the day. But if you need some time to warm up, start with the easy stuff.
Yes, we know, there are deadlines to follow that have to be met—all we’re saying is, you’ll work a lot better if you know what you can handle at any given time in the day.
Call it quits when it’s time to call it quits. You are one person and cannot handle a mountain of work in one day. If it’s the evening and you find yourself still trying to catch up on the “day’s work,” close your laptop and don’t give yourself a hard time. Being realistic will save you some trouble.
Likewise, ask for help when you need it. Recognize when you need it.
Simplify where you can, whenever you can; Marie Kondo your entire life, including your routine. Get yourself a uniform if you don’t like having to think about what to wear in the mornings and pack lunches on the weekends.
When all else fails, do not be afraid to distance yourself. I’ve found that when the work becomes a little too much—as it inevitably does—being away from my desk gives me the space and distance I need to ground myself again.
When you associate a certain space with a level of toxicity, it doesn’t become healthy for you anymore. So if you’re in a company that allows you to move around freely, take advantage of it. Get out, get your shit done and feel better walking back.
When all is said and done, getting that mind balance is about find out what you need and giving it to yourself. If that means cutting off certain things, then cut them off. If it means taking some time (and space), take it. And if it means ending the day a little earlier than usual to give yourself what you need, then ask for it.
Give yourself a fucking break—but don’t forget to be reasonable, too, okay? There’s a difference between calling on privilege and being deserving. Sometimes I forget what I can and shouldn’t ask for.
Art Alexandra Lara