5 Things I Do To Stay Sane At Work

In case I haven’t harped on about it enough, its not been two solid months since I properly started my new job, and its safe to say that I am so much happier since then. But while I love being the person who doesn’t dread going to work every day, I’m still normal in the sense that there are places I’d rather be, and sometimes I do feel that little ‘is it 5pm/Friday yet?’ twinge every now and then.

I found it very strange transitioning from a retail environment to a call centre around 18 months ago, but having now transitioned away from a customer facing role into a standard office-y type job, again I’ve been thrown a little out of my comfort zone and having to adapt to a different working style, but I’ve come to learn that there are a few little tricks and tips that I do at work to keep me a little more sane, and many of these can translate to most work environments.

Don’t eat lunch at your desk

I used to spend at least half of my lunch break sitting at my desk, and even though I wasn’t working and my screen was locked, I still always found that there was a little niggle in the back of my head reminding me of whatever work needed doing, and so I’d spend my time thinking or stressing about getting back to work. Now, even if its just going down the corridor to our little vending machine area to sit with my lunch, I won’t spend my lunch time at my desk.

Stay active and step away from your screen

If you work in an office, you probably spend at least 90% of your working day sat down and staring at a screen – I don’t need to tell you that its not great for your posture or your eyes. As a Fitbit user, I have a little goal set on my Charge 2 to get in at least 250 steps every hour, so I always make sure that I’m moving around a bit, whether that’s going to the printer on the other side of the office instead of the closest one, going to fill up my mug with water, or taking a trip to a different floor to go to the toilet. I also like to get out of the office completely on my lunch break, even if its just to walk to the shops across the road or go and sit on the grass outside in the summer.

Spread some positivity

So many people find their work a little dull or maybe a little stressful, and its easy for negativity to spread in a working environment, especially when everyone’s feeling under pressure, so I try to be a little extra sunny on those days. I’m the newest person in my department, so I probably don’t understand some of the strains that other people are under with deadlines and targets etc, so I like to use that motivation to cheer others up. I wish everyone a cheery ‘good morning’ when I come in or see them for the first time that day, I make little jokes with people and have a chat at the photocopier; its the little things that can brighten someone else’s day and I feel so much better for it too.

Wear something cute

This probably sounds like the silliest thing but whenever I need a little push to feel more better about the day ahead, I always find myself reaching into my wardrobe for something special. Sometimes this means I’ll wear something quirkier like my Mickey Mouse blouse or galaxy print Black Milk shorties, and other times I’ll go for something a bit fancy like a nicer-than-everyday dress or the blazer that makes me feel all kinds of girl-boss-like, and it sets me up for the day, plus every time I catch my reflection in the mirror or a window, I get a little boost.

Work the right number of hours

Its so easy when there’s a lot of work to do to end up staying late, or cutting lunch short, but whenever I do find myself putting in more hours than I’m getting paid for, I always make sure I give myself the time back when I can, and this is a lot easier now I don’t clock in and out on shifts! On two occasions last week I ended up staying 15-20 mins late to finish up a few things, so on Friday I pushed myself to get things done a little quicker and left 20 mins early to have a good start to my weekend. I appreciate this isn’t something that everyone can do, but its the first time I’ve ever been able to do this in my working life and I’m taking advantage of it.

Do you do anything in particular to keep your head above at work?

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Working 9-5

It doesn’t feel like all that long ago I wrote about how I ditched regular working hours in favour of 12 hour shifts, but time’s a-changing again folks! No, I didn’t get fed up of the hours – in fact, I really did love doing the whole 3 days a week thing – but your girl’s gone and got herself a new job!

I’m still working for the same company, in the same building, but I have finally clawed my way out of customer service and I’m pleased to announce that I will now be an accounts administrator in the finance department, and that means Monday-Friday, 9-5, and for the first time ever in my working life.. NO MORE WEEKENDS! The job comes with better pay, better hours and more opportunities, and I already love the work.

And while I did love my old shift pattern, I finally have total stability; no more working Monday-Wednesday one week, then Monday, Thursday and Friday the next, and then throw in a few random weekend days each month. I’ve also been given the gift of some flexibility – if I need to come in a little later one day, I can do that and stay a little later. I’m not having to be in for an exact time and take my breaks at the set time I was given, and better still, I don’t have to speak to customers anymore, yippee! (I have worked in customer service for over 5 years and while I somewhat enjoyed the work and like the majority of customers, some can be downright rude)

I normally hate change, but this change is going to be so good for me. I’m already so much happier to go to work every day, and excited to get back to a proper routine of eating meals at normal times, and not being totally exhausted when I get home. I’m excited to have time to go to the gym in the morning and still have time to do my makeup rather than just running out of the house with my eyebrows just barely filled in. I’ll have time to catch up with people on social media and promote my small businesses and just feel a little bit more like my life is together.

This is going to be good for me.

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8 People You Need to Befriend in your Office

Its now almost been a year since I traded in my soul-crushing retail job for my first taste of office life. Time flies, huh?

I’ve learned a lot about office life this year, but I think everyone knows that a key part in any job is finding how to survive the daily grind with as little stress and with the minimal effort required, and I’ve discovered that there are certain people in every office that are worth keeping on the good side of to help with this.

The smoker

You don’t have to smoke to appreciate the perks of being friends with a smoker. These are the people who normally have a good supply of chewing gum, mints and perfume, should you be in need, and are also equipped with a lighter for that inevitable moment when no-one’s thought about how they were going to light the candles on yet another office birthday cake.

The grazer

You know how there’s always that person that seems to be munching on something whatever time you look at them? Yep, that’s the grazer, and they’re gonna be your saviour on the days you’ve skipped breakfast. (I am definitely a grazer – I have a whole drawer in my desk dedicated to snacks and you can hit me up any time for some Belvita, rice cakes, nuts or hot chocolate powder!)

The scary senior

In my experience, in any workplace there’s one supervisor/manager who most people will tread very lightly around for fear of any upset. Now I’m not saying to be a total suck-up, but earning brownie points and being on the good side of this person can put you in a very good position should you ever need their help or a favour!

The tea addict

Know of someone who can’t go more than about half an hour with an empty mug? They’re back and forth from the kitchen doing tea/coffee runs all day, and generally they’re more than happy to fill up an extra cup if they’re going that way..

The part-timer

There’s nothing worse than trying to find someone to cover a shift that you can’t book off, especially because chances are everyone else in the office is probably already working the same day. Enter the part-timer – their reduced, and therefore more flexible hours means they tend to be happy with swapping as chances are it’ll benefit them too.

The know-it-all

For the times you’re stuck in a certain situation and aren’t entirely sure how to proceed, its handy to be fairly tight with that one person who seems to know every procedure and practice inside out and back to front to help you with the next step.

The great debater

Is there someone in your office who loves the opportunity to jump in on a debate, or just has to get there side across in an argument? Well it might be annoying as hell sometimes, but in other situations they can be particularly handy. There’s a guy on my team who’s like this, and if I ever have to call back an unhappy customer and don’t particularly fancy it, he’s normally more than happy to take it over.

The optimist

There is nothing worse on a bad day at work than being surrounded by people who are just constantly negative. Whether you’re in a bad mood yourself or not, its draining and it sucks for general morale. Find the sunny people and stick with them!

What gets you through the day?

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12 Things I’ve Learnt from Working 12 Hour Shifts

So two weeks ago I binned off the 7.5 hours, 5 days a week working routine, and traded normality for a 3-day week rota. Now I’ve not cut down my hours, so it doesn’t take a genius to work out that to be able to fit the same number of hours in, I’ll now be working 12 hour shifts. It also says that in the title of this post, so I kinda gave that one away.

At first, I thought I was mad for even considering the change, but two weeks down the line I’m settling into this routine pretty nicely, and I’ve already discovered a few things, and noticed a few changes..

I achieve nothing with my evenings anyway

It turns out that it doesn’t matter whether I finish work at 5pm or 8pm, I still get the same amount of stuff done when I get home from work. Spoiler alert, I do pretty much naff all.

I never have to worry about what shift I’m on

Its pretty impossible to forget 8am-8pm..

I never get asked to stay on an hour or two anymore

When you work from open to close, the plea for people to stay on for a little bit of overtime doesn’t get sent my way anymore!

I’ll still always get asked if I’m doing overtime

Whenever someone finishes before me, I can guarantee I’ll get asked ‘aww, how much overtime are you doing today?’. Nope, just my regular shift, thanks..

Snacks are essential

My desk drawer is stocked with Belvita, nuts, hot chocolate powder and a bunch of spare spoons for when I inevitably forget to bring one in for my morning yogurt. Gotta keep those energy levels up!

And I make myself much more comfortable

I’m talking shoes off under the desk, dressing a little bit more casual, and I’ve recently acquired a fleece blanket which I wrap myself up in on colder days and evenings. Snug as a bug in an office.

Anything to break up the day is welcomed

Team meetings, extra training sessions, one to ones, pretty much anything that takes a little bit of time from my regular work is an absolute blessing!

Suddenly regular length shifts seem easy peasy

On the weeks were I also do weekend shifts, which are only ever 6-7 hours long, those days seem to absolutely fly by.

I’m actually a lot more patient with customers

I don’t know if I’m just resigned to the fact that I’m stuck at work til 8pm anyway, but I’ve become a lot more patient with customers and a lot more relaxed about the parts of my job that I used to find a bit stressful.

I have way more stamina than I thought

When I first agreed to switch to these new shifts, I honestly thought it would kill me within a few days, but I actually took to them like a duck to water, and even my manager said she’s impressed with how little I’ve moaned during the transition.

Its not as tiring as I thought either

Sure, its an office job where I’m sat in a chair so it was never gonna wear me out too much anyway, but I still expected to feel a lot more worn out than I do, so yay!

The extra days off are so worth it

Ultimately the reason I took the change was because it means most weeks I have 4 days off a week, so I can dedicate more time to my blog and my small businesses. It also means if I do want to work overtime I don’t have to work 7 days a week to do it!

Sure, I am only 2 weeks in and adjusting to the change, but I’m already so happy with how this is working out for me, and it should mean much more content here, so watch this space!

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