How to Keep Love Alive At Your Job - Common Sense Living Newsletter
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How to Keep Love Alive At Your Job

Mar 24, 2015

How to Keep Love Alive At Your Job 

I had what felt like 3 kilos weighing on my head. I was late for work. I couldn't find the report I was working on most of the night. I didn't know what to wear. And I was about to dive headfirst into the worst traffic the world has to offer - on the nightmarish streets of Mumbai.

This seemed like more or less how every day began for me.

By the time I walked into the office I was exhausted... and dreading the hours I'd be spending there - dealing with office politics, distractions, the crowdedness of the open-plan layout, horrible coffee, and general office environment crabbiness.

It wasn't always like that. I remember, clear as day, my first day at work almost a year ago. I loved everything about being there.

I thought the coffee was not bad, and the politics was non-existent. It was all loving, friendly, productivity.

Had I fallen out of love with my job? And if so, what do I do? Quit?
Everyone feels this way about their work at one point or another. Even if it's a job they love, by virtue of being a job there is routine. There may at some point be tension with colleagues. There might be a feeling of being trapped. Love then changes into a rozi-roti issue.

We say in relationships that familiarity breeds contempt. The same thing happens here. After some time resentment creeps in.

They say you have to work at your relationships - to keep the romance alive. Can we also do that with our jobs? How do we bring the romance back?

If you have lost your sense of wonder for your work, fret not. All is not lost - you can bring the magic back. But it will take a little bit of effort, a little changing of habits and regaining of control.

Play the silences...

In music they say that you don't just play the notes, you play the silence between the notes... This means you don't just focus on what you're doing when you are playing a certain note, you focus with equal attention to the quiet space in between notes. You don't just waste that time, you use it, you focus your energies on it. It is the silence that makes the sound beautiful.

And I believe you can do this in life as well. We go to work and focus with complete attention. But then when we are not working we don't care that much about our time. We let it pass unnoticed, slipping through our fingers instead of using it to fill up our lives. We schedule ourselves at work, we are organized and achieve things. After work we just deflate like balloons and plonk down on our sofas to watch stupid TV.

Instead, if we used that 'silence' in between our work noise to re-inflate ourselves, we could appreciate the sound of work.

Mark your silent territory...

I stormed into my boss' office at my last job. He had also been a mentor to me. How do you do it? I demanded to know. This job is driving me crazy.

I loved the work but the stress aaargh. I would go home and talk non-stop about the work... never letting my family or friends or brain take a break.

That's when I learned how to really end the workday - leave it at the door.

When he turned the key in the door every night, he would pause... just for a second. In that second he would shed all his work stress, give up all his work battles, forgive all his own mistakes and those of others... and he would enter his home with nothing but a lighthearted happiness to be with his family. Ready to re-inflate his life with his loved ones and passions.

So how does one play the silences?

You do whatever it takes to untie the knots in your brain, that's what. You cook if you find it calming, or order in if it doesn't. You go to the gym if it releases tension, or take a walk if that's better. You listen to music if that calms your nerves and or do homework with your kids. Whatever is the best combination of love and relaxation you can find, incorporate that into your silences.

And do one more thing, put your phone away for a while. You should not be in work mode all the time. Silent phone equals silent mind. And if you can go one step better. Or actually, this is a giant leap better. Meditate. For a few minutes every day, don't just silence your phone, silence your mind. Absolute inner quiet. When you come back to the noise, every sound can become music again, and work can become love again.

Find silence while at the workplace too...

Newer offices have all begun to adopt an open-plan format. It's a wonderful idea, good for collaboration, openness, and transparency. Unfortunately we're all sitting so close to each other that every meeting, conference call, joke at the water cooler, sneeze blows right into our eardrums shattering our attention, raising our blood pressure.

Wearing headphones to block out noise works for some. Others find alternative nooks and crannies such as empty conference rooms to find some peace and focus. I like to escape to a coffee shop with my laptop for a couple of hours if I need to focus. And in any case it's important to get away from your desk for a lunch break at least.

Expanding the silences...

An increasingly more acceptable practice is working from home. With technology allowing us to beam into offices around the globe from our desks at home, working from home, or telecommuting, is fast becoming a rule, not merely an exception. If you can work even just a couple days from home, going in to the office will just become that much more of a pleasure.

The best relationships are those where there is independence, trust and freedom. These are the marriages that last. But they only last if you work on them. Otherwise they become short-term affairs that break your heart, and you will go from job to job never finding happiness.

No matter what your job is, if you can keep the romance alive by maintaining your own freedom, and creating a balance between the sounds and silences, you can create a lasting, fulfilling romance, and become one of those happy people who love their job.

Image Source: JOlivier Le Moal/


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13 Responses to "How to Keep Love Alive At Your Job"


22 Sep, 2015

Right time I read this article . Thanks . Simple and well articulated.


22 Sep, 2015

Yes Anishaji, silence works! In one of my jobs as the director of a research institute, I had implimented a 'silence hour' first thing in the morning. Again, while closing office on each day, had asked myself whom I had helped in their professional career, and what And how I could have done better. Reflecting on any undesirable event or behaviour, including that of self, is also useful to gain confidence and to gain better perspective of one's own job. Regards ns

Vishwanath Sastry

15 Apr, 2015

Very Nice!!!


14 Apr, 2015

Very refreshing thoughts. It depends on how much you are positively engaged. Does it give a satisfaction of doing something worthy. can I count my contributions. Is there an appreciation even if no reward for your hard earned contributions. These matter much in the life of working for somebody else.

Ashish Ranjangaonkar

02 Apr, 2015

Nice thoughts Anisa


29 Mar, 2015

Thank you Anisa, Good article.Silence at work place for a moment may give good relaxation .A deep breathe in with a smile after the silence may give better results.Normally in our busy schedules at work place often people may forget to take water,food etc .Yes ,sometimes they may forget even to smile also.A conscious effort towards practising silence may totally bring a change at the work place -to keep love alive at your job.!

Shripad Narvekar

27 Mar, 2015

It was a good article all young crowd should read. Kindly publish in ET so that all can read. My self sr citizen i also follow the inspiration of Mr Robin Sharma Greatness Guide” to change yourself.


27 Mar, 2015

Anisa, Very well analysed and written.

Like (3)

JR Kumar

25 Mar, 2015

Anisa, You have put down very neatly the office goers daily problems, frustrations, happiness to be found in your job. We always tell people 'love your work,rest becomes easy' Good write up JR Kumar

Like (2)


25 Mar, 2015

Thanks for sharing. That point about pausing for a minute at the locked office room door and unwinding right there, to leave back office at office. That etched a vivid figure, hope more and more folks are able to do it. I have gone through that hell of wLrking 14 hours x 6 days and waking up 3am at night dreading the next morning. It has to be part of learning at school now, as the situation is so unavoidable in all professions.

Like (1)

Ranjit Kamath

24 Mar, 2015

Good Read, Very much apt !


24 Mar, 2015

This is one of your very good articles which I have read.


24 Mar, 2015

wonderful thoughts,new insight ,need of the hour,step back and get a clear and colourful picture of the world around you .relish each every line,like 'The best relationships are those where there is independence, trust and freedom'

Like (1)

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