This week the negative that I am experiencing is something we can all empathise with. I have too much work for the number of hours available to me. On top of my existing (heavy) workload (which is my own fault as I say yes to interesting work all the time because I love my job), I have a client with a crisis that will take me out of the office for 4 days. I don’t have 4 days free so I am making up some of the time this weekend (not a great idea, but it is a crisis situation which means it is temporary and will not become a habit).
Finding the positives in this high volume of work on a sunny Saturday morning is a challenge but this is what I came up with on my dawn dog walk:
At least I can organise for myself how I am going to get all this work done – which means I have control over my working environment, which reduces my stress. Things would be much worse if I had to follow the detailed instructions of someone else because I would feel powerless, which decreases my status and leaves me vulnerable to the priorities of others.
Feeling valued and respected – I know I going to get compliments and thanks for the work I am doing, and I know that will make me feel good. This isn’t just ego talking, my brain interprets these compliments as an increase in my status, which reduces my threat response. If I feel respected, I am less threatened by others because my brain reassures me I am more able to take care of myself.
I am going to learn new shortcuts to getting the work done, and I am going to answer new questions which build my knowledge base. Again, that builds my status because I know more than I knew before.
Sense of accomplishment – when I get this work done, I will have a feeling of achievement, which releases endorphins in the brain, creating a sense of happiness.
Overall, whilst the workload is big, I can look to these benefits to inspire me when I get tired – and so far, it is working! What do you think the benefits of an unexpectedly heavy workload are? Can you find any positives in this situation?