4 Ways to Avoid Letting Emotional Baggage Weigh You Down at Work

4 Ways to Avoid Letting Emotional Baggage Weigh You Down at Work
Image credit: Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

Sometimes life doesn’t go the way you plan it. No matter the circumstances, though, you can’t let life’s downs drag you down, too.

Take it from me. Earlier this summer, I divorced my wife of less than a year. Was it unexpected? Absolutely. (Who gets married thinking they’ll get divorced?) Was it devastating? Yes, of course.

But also it wasn’t. Let me explain.

No, I’m not explaining the personal details about the who/when/how/etc. of the divorce. Why? Because this is about business. And when you report for business, there’s no room to let your emotional baggage weigh you down.

That’s the point of this article, after all.

I still have my work. No matter if you’re an entrepreneur who is building something great from scratch, or a manager or employee who is head down with your team and projects, your work is your passion. One of your passions, anyway.

Related: 6 Emotions That Plague Highly Sensitive People Trying to Grow a Business

If one part of your life cracks open, the rest of it doesn’t have to fall to pieces.

Here are four ways you can bring your A-game to work and leave the dark stuff elsewhere. These aren’t scientifically proven, but I can say for certain that they work for me.

1. Remember how good your work is.

The work you do is important. It deserves your focus. Compartmentalizing the good work stuff from the difficult personal stuff can help push you through your days, and get you producing great results.

Not only that, but diving into work -- during normal business hours anyway -- can be a great distraction from whatever else is going on in your personal life. It works for me.

Related: This Simple Habit Could Be the Secret to Increasing Creativity

2. Go for a walk.

It sounds simple. And it is. But it’s also incredibly useful.

Ever wonder why Beethoven, Virginia Woolf, and Steve Jobs were such big fans of going for walks? The act of standing up, turning around, and going for a short walk can be exactly what you need to clear your mind and get you focused again on the tasks at hand. This is especially true for creative work (hence the Beethoven, Woolf, and Jobs mentions) but can be helpful no matter what line of work you’re in.

3. Manage distractions.

In one word: unplug. I realize this isn’t always 100 percent possible, but try turning off your personal phone during work hours. Limit your checking of social media. When you’re at work, stay focused on the work.

For me, I’ve limited the types of communications I get on my smartwatch. If there’s someone who texts you a lot, stop those notifications from vibrating on your wrist every second and get to them when you can.

Related: 5 Things That Will Make You Much Happier

4. Stay positive, dammit.

I have a lot of anger and confusion and frustration about my divorce. Sounds natural, right? But there’s absolutely no reason for me to bring all of that to work. When I’m online and cranking, I turn on the happiness. I remember tip No. 1 (this job kicks ass) and start grinding away.

Besides, whatever you think is weighing you down is only temporary. You are fully capable of rising above and moving forward. I know I am.

Sometimes the right frame of mind goes a long way.