You know those days when you have so much going on at work you begin to go a little crazy? You stop thinking straight, your mind doesn’t know what year it is, or you start to get a little slap-happy? Maybe you’re like me and stare at a computer all day to the point you forget there’s an outside world.

Luckily for you, that feeling is totally normal and there are things you can do to avoid that mid-morning crazy on a busy day:

Whistle while you work: It may not win you many friends, but it’s amazing what can happen when you act as if you love what you do. The positive energy will help you, and everyone around you. When your attitude is positive, your perspective is heightened and you’ll begin to notice small joys and delights around you instead of constant complaining. Lighten up.

Earn yourself some karma points: You know that feeling you get when you actually return your shopping cart to the designated area in the parking lot? It makes you feel good. Your mind is telling you, “you did the right thing”. Pat yourself on the back, you’ve just been awarded some karma points. Although these ‘points’ mean nothing, they bring you a feel good moment, even just for a short time. And when you’re feeling good, you begin to relax a bit and it takes your mind away from the work. Need to get some points quick? There’s plenty of karma points you can grab around the office: unload the dishwasher, neaten up the kitchen, pick up that small piece of trash someone tried to Kobe and missed.. It might not get noticed by anyone, but hey, maybe it will. And when it does you’ll feel good inside.

Laugh at your mistakes: I can’t tell you the perfect example of a mistake I made, because there are far too many! I have, however, learned to take each one less and less to heart. Ever notice that the more seriously you take your mistakes, the more you make them? Maybe it’s just me, but I noticed when I would get really upset over a mistake it was all I would think about for a while. I would dwell on it, stress about it, and my mind was not clear and energized to move on and avoid the next one. It instead, would cause me to create more mistakes! The decision to make light of your mistakes doesn’t mean you don’t care, it means that you refuse to make a bigger deal out of something that might not be necessary. Instead: accept it, learn from it, laugh at it, and move on. 

Become a stress stopper: Stress always interferes with the quality of work. When you’re stressed, you’re reactive and frightened, and tend to make more mistakes. We feel pressured and are quick to judge. We lose perspective and take things personally. You’ll blow problems out of proportion and fail to see the solution. So, if you want to maximize your chance for success, when stress becomes present — stop it. Don’t let that shit manifest.  Recognize it and stop the spread. Being aware of the different stresses in your mind will open a door to great changes in your life. You’ll begin to notice when you start to fall into a stressed state of mind. When you recognize the stress, simply say to yourself, “Whoops, there I go again”, and remind yourself that what you’re going through may not be really all that stressful.

Take a walk:  Fortunately, I have a beautiful suburban Michigan neighborhood right behind my office. Whenever the sun makes its presence, I make sure to get out and enjoy it. Even if all I have is 15 minutes. Nature is here to nurture us, so go snag some vitamin D. You’ll feel more refreshed, and energized. Can’t get outside? Take a walk around the office and say hello to some coworkers. Just go do anything to get away from your desk for a few moments.

Find something you enjoy outside of work: It’s easy to lose yourself in your career. We all tell ourselves we’ll dedicate time to the things we enjoy outside of work like writing, reading, gardening, playing the sports we enjoy, etc. We say we won’t let that activity fade away from our lives. Yet, so many of us come home tired, exhausted, and not wanting to do anything. Don’t let this happen to you. Remember, that there is nothing more empowering than really working on a project or activity that brings you genuine pleasure. Get off the couch and go find something.

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