Archives for the month of: September, 2016

It’s only Wednesday and I already feel burnt out. I have been swamped since I came back yesterday morning after taking off Friday afternoon and Monday, and I still feel like I’m running in place in terms of my emails and work. I just took a bit of a break to half-meditate and remove myself from my task list for a minute; I repeated this phrase over and over again to myself: “You’re doing the best you can and everything will get done.” I did this until I felt myself physically calm down–my back and shoulders loosened considerably and I slowed down my breathing. Ah, peace.

I don’t like feeling as though I’m “just” keeping up with the daily grind instead of forging ahead. That’s just my nature and I’m working on changing those feelings of not being “good enough” to feelings of accomplishment. Normally, during a week where I can expect my typical workload, getting ahead would be expected; however, during a week like this one, where I have my normal workload plus a supplemental issue and various other problems coming to the forefront, it’s okay to just get done what I can. That in itself is an accomplishment! Pushing myself mentally and physically into a stressed-out state isn’t going to help anyone, and it certainly won’t get my work done faster or more accurately.

I like where I am mentally today–I can appreciate the work that I’ve done and will continue to do, and once it’s all over, I will REST! My midday check-in with myself has truly helped and I can already feel myself revving up for the rest of the afternoon. I highly suggest a self-pep talk if you’re feeling behind or down on yourself!

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Recently I was browsing social media and came across an article titled “The Real Cost Of Mean People In Business.” The article was about how mean people can undermine an office and cause real harm. I began to think about dealing with my own bully at my night job. The incident took place only a couple of months ago and it has been a little over a month since I was freed from that waking nightmare. It started when my managers decided to shuffle personal around to meet productivity goals. The bulk of my job consists of pulling packages out of mail bins, placing them into a mesh bag and putting that bag on a conveyor belt. I was placed with a sorter (they sort the work into the bins) who was new to my area. Additionally, the layout of the area I was placed in was bad. Instead of being able to turn around and put my work on the conveyor belt, I had to walk it about 10 to 15 feet to the belt. I also had to lift my work about four feet up onto the belt, where in other places the belt only sits a few inches above the floor. Repeat this dragging and lifting process hundreds of times per night and it becomes tiring. Added to the mess was a sorter who was impatient, arrogant, and threw hissy fits when he did not get his way.

I did my best to keep the area clean and I was even told by management that I was doing a good job. To my sorter, I was the laziest person in the building. He came looking for me whenever I took a bathroom break. He yelled at me whenever I stopped working in order to re-fill my bag racks, or clear the floor of work hazards. It finally came to a head when I decided I had enough of his attitude and called him out for his disrespect. I was met with a flurry of curses and being told he HAD to treat me terribly because I was NOT doing my job. I held my fury back and at the end of the night I pulled my manager aside and told him what had happened. I was moved to a new spot immediately. The workflow is just as demanding (but the belt only sits a foot away from me and I can turn around and easily place my work) and I’m glad to work with someone who isn’t abusive.

Had I not spoken up, I would most likely be in the same area, with the same abusive sorter. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat and speak up, especially when a co-worker is treating you poorly. People are paid to get a job done or solve a problem in a workplace, not to be emotionally mistreated. Have you ever had to deal with a mean or abusive co-worker?

On Sunday evening, as I was preparing myself for work on Monday, I thought I’d take it once step further. I opened my phone calendar and checked to see what I had to do this week (outside of work). I switched a few things around (I had two tasks to complete on Monday for my freelance job and I knew they could wait), thereby brightening my outlook for the week considerably.

I did the same thing when I arrived at work Monday morning–I opened my Outlook calendar and my to-do list (I keep a running list for every day that changes often, with longer-term projects included at the bottom) and assessed my work week ahead. I was able to swap a few tasks on different days that would make my life easier, and then my productivity was set to grow steadily for the rest of the day.

It was such a positive choice to set my week up Sunday evening and Monday morning. Usually on Sunday nights, I get myself ready by packing my lunch, making sure my bag has everything I need, and laying out my clothes for the next day, but I don’t think about my week ahead. I’m tired and I don’t want the weekend to end, but it’s not fair for me to indulge those feelings for too long. By mentally and physically preparing myself for my work- and outside of work-week, I lowered my stress level and was able to fall asleep more quickly and wake up more refreshed on Monday morning. Looking back, I also got a lot done yesterday that I may not have if it wasn’t for my impromptu idea to plan ahead.

I’m patting myself on the back a bit in this post, but I’m glad it worked out for me so far. What about you, dear readers? Do you plan for the week ahead on Sunday night?

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I hope everyone had a lovely Labor Day. Ironically, working on the holiday was an option that opened up for UPS employees. While many people took the bait because of the promise of triple-time pay, I opted to relax at home. We don’t receive many paid holidays so I’ve made it a point to not work them.

With the passing of Labor Day, September is now in full swing. This month has always marked the start of a transition period. In terms of weather, there is an occasional crispness to the air that provides relief from the humidity of August. It’s always a pleasant feeling before the cold weather arrives. When I was in school, September marked the start of a new school year, with new things to learn, and new things to gripe about. As an adult, it often marks the period of calm before the madness of the holiday season.

As of last year, September was also the time when I first moved away from home. It has been nearly a year now since leaving and I can honestly say I do not miss living at home. There’s something nice about the freedom to set my own schedule, only needing to clean up my own messes, and not having argue with others about the spaces I use and when I want to use them. To saying moving out has been a breath of fresh air would be an understatement.

September is also a time of year when I buy new technology. In recent years those technology upgrades have consisted of new smartphones. The last time I did a major phone upgrade was three years ago. I’m overdue for an upgrade. I’m looking forward to a phone with more storage space, more RAM, 4G LTE, and more synergy between it and my PC through apps.

Does September and the period after Labor Day have any significance to your own life?

fall-trees-stanley-zimny-of-flickr

Fall Trees by Stanley Zimny of Flickr

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