“Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?” said American comedian Edgar Bergen. In the sedentary corporate lifestyle of ‘9 to 7,' there is no work to the body but more and more labour to the mind, and less and less use of the intellect! This imbalance in the body-mind scale results in STRESS.

“Good workers attract more work like magnet,” and more & more work on computers brings in spondylytis in ‘Uttar Pradesh'! The secret cure for this stiffneck is rotating the head once a while and NOT doing less and less hard work. Another idea is to look far away from your computer screen quite often, and watch out for ‘what others are doing' in the department.

If you can focus sharp enough on their desktop screens, you even may surprise yourself noticing that the supposedly hardworker is ‘hardly working' and seriously playing computer games or solitaire cards!

The topper in the corporate lifestyle disease list is the heart ailment. While all the attention of articles and healthtalks is on this blood-pumping mechanism, we will shift our focus further down, to Madhya Pradesh (belly).

‘Fissure' or ‘crack' in interpersonal relationships in workplaces and ‘unexpressed feelings' create crater-like ulcers in the stomach and further down under. Popping antacid pills will not help. Releasing the suppressed emotions will. In Japan, they provide ‘punchbags' with the word ‘BOSS' written on them so that you can hit them to your heart's content.

In India, you can only kick below your worktable. Even if a few companies provide some such punchbags, they will include them in your ‘cafeteria allowance' attracting more perks tax!

If emotions are not passed out, you know what will happen during the morning routine the next day. It will be a mourning-routine. Your family looks at you quizzically ‘why you spent so much time' in the washroom. They may collectively pass a ‘motion' to restrict your timeshare of toilet in the hectic morning schedule of family members. In fact, they don't know that the moment you sit on the commode your mind goes on ‘autopilot' to think about the day's work and what to do to counter office politics.

In the office, you may be doing hard work sitting ‘all the time' heating your seat. But the boss may rate you as ‘low in people skills' in annual assessments. The heat generated may only end up your visiting the gastroenterologist often. More good work may bring in more and more files and proposals to your ‘in-tray' or in-box ‘piling' it up. If you ‘cleared them all' during a hard workday, the files will ‘pile up' in the out-tray or outbox, which will only bring in more assignments from the boss to the in-tray.

For work addicts, the end of the day may appear to be ‘light at the end of the tunnel', but there will be a ‘traffic jam' at the end of their biological tunnel. If they take a few days' off to give rest to their ‘seats' and sit in a warm water-filled tub, colleagues will ask questions, for which answers are always embarrassing to ‘express.' But there is a way to do it by naming the disease as if it is an acronym, i.e., ‘Pain In the Lowest End of the Stomach'. Hope, they understand.

When you squirm and wriggle your torso in your seat, it is especially more embarrassing if you happen to be the unfair sex, and your women colleagues compassionately ask you, ‘What is wrong with you?' You can say in a ‘roundabout way' that there is a problem in your seat and they may innocently advise you to ‘sit somewhere else' or ‘change your seat'!

What is the ‘way out' of this mess? Not avoiding hard work, but doing ‘smart work'. Doing 20 per cent of the work which produces 80 per cent of the results, based on Pareto's Principle. Not like a parrot saying ‘always yes' sitting with your boss and ending up doing more unproductive work.

Classifying your work as Important, Urgent, Not Urgent and Not Important and giving priority to ‘Important' work, make your work life smooth. Unimportant but urgent work gets neglected automatically. Confusing?

Then there is another way to deal with hard work. Down delegate some urgent work or ‘pass' upwards some of your unimportant hard work by innocently asking the boss ‘how to do it.' He will be more than happy to show you how and end up doing the most part of it. This is a big ego-trap, you see. Meanwhile, you can do the ‘important' ones which produce the results that matter to your role and the organisation. And this is smart working. Hope, my boss is not reading this!

(The writer's email id is: jjeyes@rediffmail.com)

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