Several years ago, I was known as J.Lo throughout my office. The celebrity name that colleagues gave me had nothing to do any singing talent or a head-turning figure (goodness only knows, I was in the throes of shedding 70 pounds and hardly ready hit the hallways in booty-clinging skirts). Instead, the name was a reference to the initials of my first, middle and last name (at the time): JLO.
Colleagues ran with it.
"Up for a lunch, J.Lo?"
Although clever, it turns out that nicknames -- and many other behaviors, workplace or otherwise -- may not be doing much in the way of helping you achieve success personally and professionally. You'll see why momentarily.
After all, success isn't just about the strides you make in the conference room, but also about how you thrive in your personal endeavors outside of work -- and ultimately the balance you strike between the two.
Here then, are some ideas for striking that happy medium, so you can realize success on the wellness and workplace front.
1. Ditch the Neat Nickname
Truth is, as fun or cool as a nickname may be, I can't imagine they do much for developing your professional character. Sure, it's been shown that some people, especially those in higher positions, turn to nicknames to create a friendlier, more approachable image of themselves, but I'm thinking the likes of "Keg," "J.Lo," and "Power Slacker" may not go over well when clients are in town.
2. Take a Vacation
You earned a vacation, so don't fear taking one.
Much of today's corporate world is filled with employees who believe that not taking a vacation will score points with the boss. No wonder there have been instances where about 40% of people have said they don't plan on using their paid time off. Just as bothersome is the fact that half of those individuals cited fears of being replaced if they did so. Companies offer it, yet we're increasingly afraid of it.
I've witnessed this first-hand. More often than not, colleagues often wore the I-haven't-taken-a-vacation-in-years superhero cape with pride. They'd bring this up in conversations often, suggesting to bosses that their vacation-less actions carry immense value over other employees who dare to hit their favorite beach resort each year.
Well, to that I say, "Good for you." I'd rather take my earned time away from the office so I can do what vacations have been proven to do: recharge batteries and let me return to work and home refreshed and inspired.
Sleep like a baby! Your well-being and overall health depends on it.
I'm a huge advocate of getting proper amounts of sleep, especially after my experience getting eight hours of it in one week (one week!) during a work project many years ago. Sadly, I found that workplace after workplace continued putting a large emphasis on pulling all-nighters, consistently coming in early, or working through lunch -- ironically in the name of boosting productivity.
This unspoken expectation often confused me as sleep is one of the most basic human needs, alongside food, water and shelter. Without it, our abilities nosedive. Running on fumes is not an indicator of personal or professional success.
It's no secret that Arianna Huffington is a firm believer in getting proper amounts of sleep; not only is her book The Sleep Revolution coming out this April, but she's made it very clear throughout the years that sleep is essential for overall health. In fact, 40 percent of Americans receive less than six hours of sleep nightly, a disappointing statistic that she is in the midst of challenging -- and changing.
If you're stuck in rut that offers no promotions, infrequent pay increases, and includes unkind colleagues and bosses, why stay?
If possible, line something else up that better suits your emotional and financial needs (they're both equally as important), then bid your other job adieu.
Not only will moving on put you in an environment that actually cares about your career success, but you're bound to experience positive changes concerning your well-being. I've witnessed one too many anxiety attacks (including my own) and discussions of co-workers saying they're tired of waking up with stomach pains when they think about work. Is settling for something that's destroying your physical and mental health worth it?
5. OMG! Cut Back on Excessive Chit-Chat
While some small talk can create professional bonds, too much of it can take away from time that could (and should) be spent on work projects -- or planning that well-earned vacation. It's logical; after every bit of chit-chat, you then have to reacquaint yourself with the work you were initially focused on, causing a seemingly never-ending series of distractions.
Furthermore, depending on the topic, your energy could become drained which could lead to a down mood. Enough of engaging in woe-is-me home-life stories, conversations with toxic employees, or lending an ear to the office egomaniac. Your peace of mind deserves a break.
What will you do to experience the wellness and workplace success you deserve?