Wednesday

Tip of the Week 7/2/08

Tip of the Week: Do not let pressure overwhelm you.

Last time I posted, over two weeks ago, I mentioned that I had a bunch of deadlines to meet. I'm still trying to meet them. One by one they've started pouncing on me, and one by one I'm scrambling to meet them. This has lead to a rather stressed-out me. The result is that I'm like a lidded pot that's been left on the stove. The pressure is building, and I'm in danger of boiling over.

This is not good.

So, I'm trying to take my own advice, and not let the pressure completely overwhelm me. If I do, I'll become so overwhelmed that I'll no longer be able to function at all, and then nothing will get done. Here are some steps I'm trying to keep myself from caving while under this pressure:
  • Make lists. - I know that lists can be daunting. Sometimes seeing everything that needs to be done is worse than just having everything pressing around in my head. But lists are good, even long ones. You can group similar tasks together and prioritize. And there's nothing more satisfying than checking or scratching through an item on a list.
  • Keep others updated. -- Let people know where you are on a project. That way if you need help or are running out of time, people know. They are also a lot more understanding about why you're suddenly freaking out about the temperature of your salad if they know that you have 20 pages of catalog copy due in 2 hours and only 7 pages written.
  • Do not disappear. - If you're going to miss a deadline, let people know. Don't stop answering the phone or checking email. Just because you're avoiding it does NOT mean the problem has gone away. Sure, no one is going to be happy that you've blown a deadline, but the earlier you let them know, the less upset they'll be. If you don't tell anyone and then become impossible to contact, you'll merely agitate everyone further.
While at work today I made my To Do list for the long weekend. I won't lie. It's daunting. But, there was one item on it that I think might interest some of you. I've downloaded onto my reader all of the submissions I have so far received during the pitch contest. I will start going through those this weekend. I can't promise to get through them all, but I'll get through as many as possible. I can promise to be done with all of them by the end of this month. So, don't exactly sit at home waiting for emails, but I will start contacting all of you again as I work through the submissions. Again, thank you for all of your patience.

Now, I head off to go back to being (start humming the Queen song now) Under Pressure bah dah bum bum Bum bum bum bah dee dum Under Pressure.

4 comments:

maureen said...

such good advice....
leaving the list around on the table is good for me. Someone always says...I can do that for you and I let them...(within reason...no seven year old you cannot pick up your sister from work...)
maureen (nz)

PJ Hoover said...

Having the list is way less daunting than not. when I quit the day job I actually felt hugely overwhelmed at everything I needed to get done around the house and with writing. Bu once on paper, I felt so much better.

Kristi Holl said...

I was sitting here this morning, wondering how to make it through the pile-up in my office and looming deadlines for the week and month, and your article helped. I don't know if it's that misery loves company or not--but I'm heading off to make a big list right now! Hang in there. 8-)

Laurie Woodward said...

And don't forget to dance while you're humming to Queen. It makes every task a little easier. I-pod time!