How To Cope With Annoyances While Working

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We all have our pet peeves. The little things in life that just annoy us. Usually it’s okay, but there is some potential for them to affect our lives negatively. If you’re working, for example, and something annoys you it can really cut into your productivity and creativity.

It could be something random that seems to happen to you. Like a door getting stuck that makes you drop your pack. Or an elevator that closes just as you are about to walk in. Other times it’s often a person that brings about a little annoyance.

We often disregard these things. That usually works. But what if they add up and lead to those negative outcomes?

Here are some thoughts for coping.

1. Figure Out Themes Of Triggers

Do you know what annoyances seem to trigger you most often? The drive in the morning? The person that always seems to be in the break room at the same time that wants to talk your ear off? The person that is usually 3 minutes late to every meeting?

No trigger is worse than the other. If it annoys you then it’s going to be an issue. It’s important to look at the common themes. If lateness is a pet peeve, look for things that are time sensitive in your work life. Knowing that this is a big trigger for you can help you cope even just being aware of it. And it can also lead you to find solutions that you can control.

2. What Can You Do To Control The Situation?

And that’s a key part of pet peeves and annoyances. It seems like you’re not in control a lot of the time. But often you can change your outlook on the situation and find a solution that you do control. You can’t, for example, change another person. You can’t make them talk less if you think they’re a chatterbox. You can’t make them be on time if their internal clock is always 10 minutes behind.

But you can change your routine so you don’t run into the chatterbox in the break room. You can plan on multitasking during that first 10 minutes of the meeting when you know that a person is likely to be late.

Focus on what you control.

3. New Routines

Routines are a big part of our lives. It seems that you can be proactive about yours. Or you can kind of let your routines take shape on their own.

I’ve found that it’s good to audit your routines every six months or so. Assess what you do every day. See how things maybe have strayed off course in that time. Make adjustments as needed.

So much can come up in the moment that doesn’t seem that important or intrusive. But after a little time it can cause a big change in our routine. And often that can lead to recurring annoyances. And we can start wondering what is going on.

So take control of your routines.

4. Are You Seeking Drama?

Sometimes the source of our pet peeves is ourselves. We someone like the comfort of being in drama. Maybe it came from childhood. Maybe we just need action to feel that we’re alive. It could be a few things related to that area of life. Maybe we’re just focusing on the things that make us on edge and annoyed.

It’s at least worth considering. Maybe you’re missing out on the good things that are happening around you because your brain is trained to focus on the negative. I’m not saying this is what’s happening, but it’s worth a little examination if you’re struggling.

5. Empathy

If it’s people that are annoying you then the best solution is often to focus on empathy. For them. For yourself. Cut them some slack. You don’t know what their life is like outside of your interactions. The person that cut you off in traffic may be in a hurry because their child is sick. The person that is talking your ear off may be feeling lonely in their personal life.

You just never know.


Annoyances are common. They seem to happen to most people. Maybe not everyday. But once in awhile. Or maybe it is everyday. If you feel that you’re struggling with it then I’m hoping the thoughts here can provide some help. I know I’ve gone through patches in life where it seems that the world is out to annoy you. I’ve found that taking a deeper look into the situations has been helpful.

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