When big change or travail is upon you - working two jobs because the company won't replace. . .having an impossible project deadline. . .doing an extended, scary job search - most days you just want to slap somebody, or you walk around clutching a broccoli spear.
This was my friend who was giving a dinner party for 30. "I'll do the seder this year," she bravely offered. She called me in a panic at 10:00 AM the day of. "Help!" I grabbed two others and the three of us spent the next hours chopping, cooking, setting, getting it ready. Anytime I saw her she was walking around, stunned, carrying the same broccoli spear. She was in overwhelm.
If you find yourself similarly gripping a green vegetable, try these daily strategies to do your necessary work:
1. Sing sad country songs, or whatever else helps you relieve stress: Exercise, meditation, journaling, reading weepy historical fiction. Take care of yourself so you can take care of everything else.
2. Chunk it. Divide your day into chunks, and work a chunk at a time. You might plan by the hour what you'll do. You could do my 1-2-3 method. I pick three things I want to do in succession. I do them. I do another 1-2-3. The day goes by and I've accomplished amid chaos. Pray to be shown the next right thing. Make a list. Create little bites so you can eventually get that elephant eaten.
3. Keep your eyes on your own work. Move your focus from the larger world to JUST THIS. Keep your eyes down so you don't see the dishes or vacuuming you'd rather do than make a networking call. Turn off the television. If it's Oprah, it distracts you from necessary work. If it's news, it distresses you. If you're at work, keep a whiteboard with your 1-2-3s in front of you. Avoid what isn't mission-critical (you'll be tempted to do exactly the opposite).
4. Sleep on it. Exhaustion and worry can keep you awake, but put your bod in the bed early so you're at least resting. If you've exercised during the day and meditated in the evening (not to mention your warm milk and honey before bedtime), you might have an easier time of it.
5. Call somebody. See your coach. Find a friend you can call, just for five minutes, to vent, and then get back to work. Go chase Bambi on November Saturdays with your pals. That human connection can be magic when you're in overwhelm.
6. Remember you'll get through this. It has an end, and every day you're closer to it. People who sell hear a lot of "No." Successful sales people see a turndown as bringing them one step closer to "Yes."
You have good reasons to be in your emotional state. Just remember you have more tricks than just broccoli spears in your kit bag.