I love a good book. Once I have some time on my hands, I’m going to find a good book to read. Especially one that helps me to improve some aspect of my work-life.
I’ll read anywhere – at home, while waiting at the bank, the tax office, anywhere. Once I can pull my phone out and read, I will.
When I was a bit younger I used to read a lot of prose and poetry, at the time it kept me occupied and entertained. Now that I’m a young adult, I need things that help me to navigate my life, especially work-life, and responsibilities. So, now I read self-help books and autobiographies.
Reading can help with better work-life balance
Books are a really good way to get a fresh perspective. Fresh perspectives make you see things differently and maybe adjust how you operate to your benefit. I have many self-help books that have made life and adulthood a bit easier to deal with.
They’ve made work-life much easier too. I changed my approach to work, how I interact with colleagues, clients and even my boss.
48 Laws of Power
I know what you’re thinking – the 48 Laws of Power is for master manipulators trying to get ahead on the backs and emotions of others, and you’re very right. But, you don’t have to use it for that.
The laws Robert Greene teaches us can really help make work-life a bit more bearable.
One of the major lessons we can learn for work is to set boundaries. You should learn that your coworkers aren’t necessarily your friends. You and your coworkers are there to achieve company objectives – never assume or force a relationship outside of that. It’s important to try to keep your personal life outside the company walls.
You can be polite, but readily volunteering too much personal information is never a great idea. Once professional boundaries are broken, it’s near impossible to rebuild. If work friendships sour, it can create a very hostile and awkward work environment – for you and all your other coworkers.
Another major lesson we can learn from Robert Greene is how to conduct ourselves at work. You can make work your playground and not your battlefield.
Study your work environment. You need to know whose wrong side you should never be on and who you should be more careful around.
The workplace is a space with many buttons, and you need to know which ones you shouldn’t even go near – much less push. The workplace is no place for enemies, so try not to make any. Do your work, and try to keep your head down and stay out of trouble.
The Four Agreements
The Four Agreements is one of my favourite books.
It’s a very easy read, but it helps improve your overall quality of life. It’s a great book to help you find comfort in your own skin, and I feel like comfort and happiness in your own skin makes the workplace much easier to navigate.
Many of us aren’t sure about ourselves or where our life is going, and that translates into our work. We’re unsettled, demotivated and uncomfortable. The agreements given by Don Ruiz help adjust how you see life. How to get more out of it and how to handle the not so great things that happen.
The agreement I think would help best in the working world is to not take things personally. The workplace is never a place to take things personally – it’s work. It isn’t a place to wait for ego boosters. Not taking things personally makes you take harsh words like a champ. You’ll know to not take things to heart. You’ll be able to use performance critiques as lessons instead of personal attacks, and actual personal attacks won’t faze you.
Don’t let the work place drive you crazy. Being comfortable with yourself makes work much easier to digest, because no one can get under your skin.
The Gifts of Imperfection
Okay, this book helps you to become less paranoid after reading The 48 Laws of Power.
Taking the 48 laws to heart will make you think everyone at work is plotting against you, and that’s almost never the case.
Brené Brown teaches us that we aren’t perfect, we don’t know it all and it’s okay.
I know I said set boundaries, and you should, but you still need to have a few people in your corner. Not everyone at work is your friend, but there’s nothing wrong with having work-convenient acquaintances. These “acquaintanceships” don’t need to exist outside of the work space. Once they make work easier and are mutually beneficial – why not?
The book also teaches you it’s okay to ask for and accept help. If you’re struggling with a task and your co-worker can help, why not get the help? An unfinished task can sometimes reflect poorly on you. If you don’t know how to do something, find out from those who already know. Not asking leaves you in a tough spot, so there’s no shame in getting the help to not end up there.
P.S. Work acquaintanceships are great ways to get the help you need without feeling like a bother. Use each other’s strengths to get the work done.
Lean on the experiences of others to help you grow in your work-life
Work can be very taxing on us, but we have to do the best we can to make it out in one piece. We still have a lot to learn from life. We won’t find all the answers ourselves, and we don’t have the time to try. We need to learn from other people, and reading more books is one of the best ways to do it.