"I'm feeling out of control!" I hear that statement from my clients often. I feel it often! Being from Denver, the image I see in my mind when I hear that statement is a runaway stagecoach. You know... the horses are in a full gallop, the reins are loose and flying in the wind, the stagecoach is ricocheting about and ME? I'm holding on for dear life! How many of you can identify with this image? Many I'm sure.
I have faith the runaway stagecoach WILL stop. How do I know? Because I've seen it happen hundreds and hundreds of times... experience. And more importantly I have learned from it and want to share five tips to help you keep it in perspective.
1. Take inventory of what went well. When you have had a week that seems out of control... stop and make a list of the things that DID GO WELL. ALL the things big and small... I guarantee you will find some. Sit with the list and be proud of the things you have accomplished.
2. Don't look too far out. When your "To Do" list is too long and it extends out, it can be overwhelming... trial in 4 weeks, certification to sit for in 6 weeks, client's case to negotiate this week, lunch with a referral source today etc, etc! Sure you need to look at the big picture and make a plan. After you have made a plan don't dwell on the big long list. Focus on TODAY and TOMORROW, then the week. Four and six week deadlines will come into focus when it is time. Otherwise that big list will make you crazy and perhaps immobilize you today.
3. Sometimes you just have to suck-it-up! Put your butt in the seat, turn off the phone, ignore your email, skip lunch and get it done!
4. Who said that we are supposed to have everything under control? It is generally an expectation that we have of ourselves. So if we are imposing that expectation WE can change it, can't we? We are type A personalities... and we will always have more on our "To Do" list than we can ever accomplish... so accept that fact... it is just the way it is. Water is wet, rocks are hard and your "To Do" list will always be more than you can accomplish.
5. Stay in the moment! If you are stressed and worried about what you need to do tomorrow you couldn't possibly have good judgment for what you are doing today. Be present and fight the mind's urge to stray.
These five tips have helped my clients and me to feel more in control and less stressed. Try them; what do you have to lose... but a little stress.