"Bring Your Best to Work Every Day (Part I)"
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There are a lot of theories out there about how to be 'your best' at work. Let me take a quick look at the leading theories:
Here's one--Play to your strengths at work. Try to work primarily on tasks and responsibilities that you enjoy and tasks and responsibilities that you are particularly good at. This is great advice and would surely take some of the stress out of work. The only problem is that most people don't have the luxury most days to do mostly the work that they enjoy and are really good at. The real challenge is, how do you keep doing work day after day after day, very well very fast, and feel good about it, when the work is NOT necessarily work that you particularly enjoy or excel at?
Here's another approach--Make sure you balance your time at work with free time so you can rest, recover, relax and rejuvenate. Again, great advice, but the whole problem for most people is that they simply don't have enough free time to do everything they need to do, inside of work or outside of work. The real challenge is, how do you stay alert and focused and energetic when you barely have enough time to think, much less to rest?
Here's another approach--Work with people you like and respect and avoid people you find particularly ‘toxic.' Great advice. The only problem is that very few people can choose their coworkers, subordinates, bosses, vendors, and customers. You work with the people you work with. The challenge is, how do you maintain your equilibrium and equanimity when you have to deal with so many people whom you probably would NOT choose as your colleagues?
Here's another approach--Work in a workspace that is comfortable in a location that is where you want to be. If only! Again, the real question is, what if your workspace is uncomfortable and you are stuck in a location that is NOT where you want to be? How do you stay upbeat and strong and not feel beaten down.
Here's another approach to being your best at work--Leave your non-work issues at the door when you arrive at the workplace. But that's just not realistic. If things are adrift in your life outside of work, then you will be perpetually distracted by those concerns, whether you are at work or not. Sometimes you need to attend to your outside life from inside of work, just as you might sometimes need to attend to work matters from home. The boundaries between work and not-work are no longer very clear in today's always connected 24-7-365 world. How can you be your best at work in the real world?