Behind schedule at work
Sunday brought with it a fierce storm that spit in the face of any outdoor activities. By coincidence, this big storm hit on the day of the Arnold Palmer Invitational which has caused quite a stir in the golfing community. Hot on the trail of reclaiming his previous number one ranking, Tiger Woods discovered he would have to wait until Monday to finish the tournament.
When you stop to think about it, doesn’t this kind of scenario sound familiar in your own work life? Maybe bad weather has caused a big delay in a work event schedule for you, or maybe your computer broke down amidst a time sensitive project. Everyone feels for the angst of the tournament set-back, because set-backs are all too familiar for professionals.
Typically the natural human reaction to big set-backs is frustration. We find ourselves frustrated with the obstacle and the entire project. Maybe we experience anger. Often work and schedule set-backs cause panic, because performers want to do well, but delays can be costly. The good news is that delays don’t have to be costly. With the right set of skills and a good attitude, anyone is capable of overcoming the storm of work obstacles.
How to weather work set-backs:
- Rebooting can do wonders. This is a fine line to walk, but when you are knee deep in chaos, you are probably overworked. Even if you can only manage five minutes for a quick meditation, it will do wonders for your state of mind. If you’re in a situation like Tiger Woods and have been forced to idly wait to complete an important task, use that time to rest, recuperate and revamp a positive attitude.
- If distractions like papers seem to be piling sky high on your desk or email requests are flooding your inbox, try delegating tasks to others.
- If delegation is not an option for you, then create an organization system for your paperwork and emails. Try to also keep that organization system in drawers or cabinets. These things need to be in places where they don’t take over your work space. In effect, when your desk or inbox becomes cluttered, so does your mind. You need your focus on the big projects, not the small distractions.
- Be honest with your boss and team. Keeping everyone as updated as possible on your work is a stress relief. Maintaining communication eliminates concern that you may not be prioritizing correctly or are letting others down.
- Be realistic about falling behind schedule on projects or not meeting deadlines. Obviously it is important to do your very best not to fall behind, but it does happen. As long as it is justified and infrequent, remember that this has happened to almost everyone. The same goes for delayed events or schedule changes. Everyone knows things happen and no one expects you to change things beyond your control.
- Take your time and do it right. It is hard to hear that in a time sensitive situation. Cutting corners is hard to resist, but quality will speak louder than speed in the end.
- Take a minute to remember other times when you were stressed about a deadline or big project. You survived that so you know you will survive again. This attitude goes a long way. While the project is important, remember that the job, company and world will march on even if you miss a deadline. You can breathe easy as long as you know you work hard and give it your best.
The next time you’re bombarded with delays or your have too much on your plate, these tips will help you weather the storm.