This blog post is part of the 2016 Next Top Credit Union Executive competition originally posted October 10, 2016.

Going to work five days a week is a major commitment of time and energy. From the first moment you roll out of bed and your feet land on the floor to opening the door to your home at night, it is easily a time commitment of ten hours or more. I have the opportunity to hear stories from many people about their life at work and will share practices that work for others and a few that work for me.

Mood: Check your mood a few times a day. Do you look forward to your team meeting? Are you anticipatory about designing a new product, anxious about a tough conversation, feeling trapped, or delighted with your promotion? Having more days in which you feel trapped, stressed, or unsafe versus moods of engagement, learning, and contributing are a big clue that your mood or something else needs to change.

Be present: The polarity of being at home versus work wears the best of us out over time. If you are at work and worrying about home or at home worrying about work, you can become frazzled or fractured. Be present where you are and acknowledge your commitments in other parts of your life. Most importantly, when home with your family, be present. Leave the laptop at the office and instead, play with the kids, walk the dog, and converse with your partner and friends.

Make a difference: How you spend your precious time away from home needs to connect adding value and making a difference to coworkers, members, consumers, or the community. Understand your unique value, and you will make a difference.

Engage: Look for and step into opportunities to engage and make offers. Invite someone to coffee, go out to lunch with coworkers, chat with someone new in the organization, use your voice in meetings, and offer to help others move forward.

Smile: One benefit of my early morning runs on the canal is the smiles I give and receive from others. People who are out in the morning moving their bodies easily say “good morning,” accompanied by a smile. Take that practice to work and smiles at someone in the hallway, walking into a meeting, or on the other end of the phone who can’t even see you. It doesn’t cost anything and has many benefits!

Was this a day well lived?

Deedee Myers, Ph.D., MSC, PCC
DDJ Myers, Ltd.

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