• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
  • Editorial Calendar 19-20
BW Businessworld

10 Back To Work Traps To Watch Out For

To overcome these, vigilance, self-discipline and unlimited willpower shall be required to create a ‘better than before normal’ as you return to your workplaces.

Photo Credit :


As life limps back to new routines, it’s time to reflect, ritualise and put into practice, lessons learnt through the pandemic. Harmful habits are like Okiagari-kob-shi dolls that bounce back each time you push them down. To overcome these, vigilance, self-discipline and unlimited willpower shall be required to create a ‘better than before normal’ as you return to your workplaces.

The pandemic has taught us the importance of  balancing work and play, ambitions and relationships. Homeostasis is the blueprint of God’s design for earth. This is why our mind-body pendulum must regularly return to its centre of peace to stay well. If we ignore this truth, and continue to lustfully pollute our mind, body, workspaces and environment with greed and selfishness once again, nature will come back at us, twice as hard, for re-tests are usually more severe.

So here are my top ten workplace traps to avoid slipping back into the old ways.  

Fear vs. Love: Check in with yourself every morning; what is driving you – insecurity or excellence? Fear puts you in protection mode, shutting down creativity and learning. It also increases destructive coping mechanisms such as projecting blame, and disowning responsibility, besides embittering relationships with coworkers. Switch to the energy of loving what you do, and looking forward to high points in your work day, to keep yourself happy and inspired.

Hoarding vs. Space: The unconscious need to feel wanted and important can compel managers to pack in too many things into a single day, making them ‘meeting hoarders’. If ‘people pleasing’ is one of the ways you feel safe, learn to say no to pushovers. It’s time to drop the habit of being ‘stuck in back-to-back meetings’. Every hour, create breathing spaces to calm your mind and return to peace. Balance your doing with just being.

Winning vs. Thriving:  Fear based eco systems promote competition, elimination and exclusion. Love based environments promote collaboration, inclusion and contribution. Shift your thinking from, how can I succeed, to how can I help someone in my team do better today? Nothing boosts your confidence like being the cause of someone’s betterment. Choose to be a ‘worthiness catalyst’ in your colleagues’ lives. What you give, shall return to you many fold.

Brooding vs. Walking: Overthinking leads to negative thinking and depression. If you are worried about something, get up and take a walk around the office. The antidote to negative thinking is movement. Moving the body alters breath rate, breaks negative thought patterns and allows release of happy hormones. When you return to your desk after a 10 minute walk, you are likely to be better equipped to crack any problem.

Stealing vs. Cheering on: Everyone steals something, sometimes, for self-preservation, but this usually goes unnoticed by our ego mind. We steal ideas, credit, limelight, sound bytes, importance and other psychological things and it really irks us when our peers do the same. How about leading the ‘giving back movement’ instead of being stuck in the taking syndrome? Let’s give credit to others and generously compliment their efforts. Let’s acknowledge their ideas publically at important meetings and write kudo mails, attributing success to deserving teammates.

Multitasking vs. Centering: Doing too much throws the human brain out of sync, slowing down performance. Take soul nourishment breaks every 90 minutes at work to daydream, allowing the mind to wander. Check in with your emotional state to decipher hidden stresses and enquire into what’s troubling you. Feel grateful for the small things that are going well to activate dopamine flow. Smile a lot and let happy memories flood your mind.

Competition vs Connection: Humans are hardwired to compete and that’s exactly what sets off the fear, threat, performance anxiety and stress chain response. If the mind can be trained to depoliticise the work space associations and view the organisation as a family or community instead of a war zone, it’s likely that there will be a domino effect in your work related stresses. Use the power of connection to give and receive support, to thrive and to prosper.

Visibility vs. Performance: It was normal for many in pre-Covid times to be afflicted by the ‘optics & visibility disease’, prompting them to work longer hours just to be noticed and rewarded. It’s time to uphold balance and make visibility tactics obsolete. The ‘equal work and rest’ mantra should guide leadership goals to create more productive, psychologically happier and healthier work teams. Renounce the need to be seen working. Pack up in time, go home to loving and living.

Intimacy vs. Irritation: When managers get home after a nerve wrecking day at work, they unconsciously bring toxic irritability into their bedrooms instead of intimacy. This severely damages their relationships, leading to domestic conflicts, insomnia, disharmony and stress.
 The next morning, it’s this fatigued, unhappy soul who shows up at work, completely exhausted and drained. Let romantic rendezvous and relational spontaneity trump over obsessive work worries at home. Happier families contribute to happier workspaces.

Scrolling vs. Sleeping: Screen scrolling at bedtime activates your nervous system, making it harder for your mind to slow down, causing sleep disturbances. Deep, uninterrupted sleep is the magic pill for all maladies. Use a bedside notepad to relegate any work related anxieties to be addressed the next morning and sleep with nothing on your mind.
 Invest time and energy bonding with, and hugging people you love. Live consciously, love fiercely, and bring holistic integrity and balance into your life and workspaces each day.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
October Magazine 2021 Harmful habits Covid 19

Suzy Singh

Author, Emotional & Mental Well-being Coach and YouTube Edumentor

More From The Author >>