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In everyday life, it's easy to get sucked into the prevailing culture of presenteeism where we show up to work, even if we're mentally checked out.
We know what's expected of us at work and what's acceptable and feel we can't take time off for lunch or go for a walk when we need a break. These office rules hold us back and limit our success.
Do the opposite of what makes sense.
For example, if you know your commute to work will be on a packed tube and won't give you the right frame of mind for the day, find another way such as a riverboat. It may be slow but it may help you to arrive at work more energised.
Work from home can mean extended days and tasks that creep into the weekend.
Every Friday, start clearing the decks around 3 p.p. to do something refreshing such as going for a walk, cycling, or reading a book.
Research shows that when we want to improve something, we add something.
However, subtracting can be a better solution. Consider what you can remove in your work life to improve it.
Professor Francesca Gino taught two classes at Harvard Business School, where she experimented with her footwear. For one class, she wore dress shoes. For the other class, she put on her favourite red sneakers. She discovered that her students were more attentive and laughed more when she wore the red sneakers. The difference was that the sneakers made her feel more confident.
What can you wear from your wardrobe to boost your confidence?
In his book In Praise of Wasting Time, Alan Lightman relates a story from a fellow student, Paul, who used to sit on a bench for hours, doing seemingly nothing.
That Paul is Paul L. Schechter, now a famous astronomer and observational cosmologist and recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Natural Sciences.
He got his ideas from sitting on that bench.
When you're working hard, it's vital to pause and celebrate how far you've come.
If you're a freelancer or your company doesn't have an annual party, throw yourself one. Celebrate your work anniversaries, award yourself, deliver an address, or go out for dinner with a plus one.
How to get back on track if you feel mentally checked out.
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