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Stress at work is created by having too much to do and not enough time, and then people constantly interrupt us which means even less time and more anxiety.

Have you ever been focussed on what needs to be done then someone approaches you needing to share part of their life with you? For example, you may be completely focussed on the report you are writing when another person sharing their recent work dilemma interrupts you. Is your instant response “pleased to see you” … or like many others… a frustrated internal response of “can’t you see I’m busy”?

Do you ever say to yourself:

  • “I just don’t have the time for you right now” (which really means “I never have time for you” as the to do list is never ending)?

  • But... “I know I should make the time for you?”

So with partial attention:

  • You listen with half an ear hoping they will be finished soon

  • Feel resentful towards the person as they take away your ‘quality working time’

These feelings of resentment are what cause the harm in relationships because even if we think we are hiding it, it is still felt by the other person.

Your nonverbal behaviour and intent is “please go away” and the person can still feel all that you are non-verbally expressing. The ‘interrupter’ can pick up on your poorly hidden resentment. We have all come to accept that this is how work is but the truth is, it can be different. When people feel seen, met and valued, they become less needy of your time and more motivated to make a valuable contribution.

When we put our energy into building relationships – by really listening to what people have to say and connecting with them – then everyone feels met and knows they are valued.

When we feel valued, it’s natural that we response with value: it’s a cycle, what goes around comes around. You treat me as worthwhile = I work in a worthwhile way. You treat me with disregard = I work with disregard. If you don’t care less = my work will be careless.

We can never change the fact that people will want to spend time with us – after all, we are so delicious to be around. However, we can change how we respond to their needs. If we make it about relationships first, we can challenge the time tyrant and create an honest working environment with no stress or anxiety . . . whilst also increasing profits and the quality of productivity. We shouldn’t let time override the true nature of our loveliness; we are all on this earth together and so it makes sense to be there with each other.

Life is so much more enjoyable and meaningful when we make it about people.

Filed under

StressPerformance managementTeamworkCommunicationProductivityTime management

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