Mistakes. Fingers pointed. People aren’t where they say they are going to be. Your boss and your boss’s boss is scrutinizing things they never have before, raising questions that leave you saying, “ Huh?” or “You are slowing me down! Just let me work!” Everyone seems a bit snappish and everyone is in a rush.
Yup! ‘Tis the season!
What happened to “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me?” What happened to “goodwill toward men?” Where is all this stress coming from? I know at least SOME of it is coming from above, and I don’t mean from the heavens!
My too-many-years in the media business tells me this is normal. We experience this each year, yet each year we are surprised – and it isn’t even Groundhog Day yet! You would think that coming off a four day holiday with more right around the corner we would be relaxed.
But right now, stress is at an all time high for many reasons; and even though it FEELS like you are just on the receiving side, I am getting you are a contributor, too – not only to yourself but others.
A few thoughts:
- As with most things, recognizing there is a problem puts you on the path to a solution.
- Take a hard look at yourself. Yes, you are no doubt dealing with the mistakes and problems from other departments. The spot wasn’t done, the order wasn’t put in correctly, the morning team forgot to mention the promotion and the client was listening to hear it. But before you get too judgmental, be sure YOU put the order in by the deadline, YOU followed up, YOU weren’t late to the meeting.
- Understand that this really is the time of year your boss’s boss is scrutinizing their, and everyone else’s, performance. Reports are due. Forecasts are due. That right there is extremely stressful.
- Your brain, and everyone else’s. is maxed out. Holiday parties, gifts, travel, visitors, school programs, school is almost out, vacation days (use it or lose it!), planning, remembering to move that damn elf – all are taking up valuable space in your head. Add in work and you get a short circuit. This is true for you. This is true for your coworkers. This is true for your customers.
- Discipline yourself. Focus. Make yourself focus. Make yourself be places on time, get your work done, and set aside time for other things. It is kind of like dieting…if you say, “To heck with it, I will start Jan 2!” you won’t be happy with the results.
- Use your tools. That discipline thing applies here, too. Your CRM can help you remember appointments, remember your next step, plan, and execute. If you rush out to spend the Kohl’s Cash before it expires while you are on the way to the egg nog fest, you risk forgetting valuable information that you fully intend to put into your CRM later. Set aside ten minutes to update daily. Discipline.
Above all, BE KIND. Everyone is making mistakes. Everyone is stressed and overloaded. Everyone is snappish. This includes YOU. Forgive the late client and your coworkers and you are more likely to be forgiven. Recognize their workload is off the charts, too, and they are dealing with everyone’s unique situations just like you are. Be aware, be forgiving and BE KIND. Because, after all, Tis the season.