Jeff Schmitt: From the Bottom Up

How You Fell Behind


You can barely catch a breath. Every day, the issues pop up like Whac-A-Moles. You contort your schedule as clients adjust priorities, time lines, and specs. And you race the clock, bouncing between emergencies, struggling to keep everyone happy.

Sometimes, you're blinded when everything comes at you so fast. You lock up like a computer, unable to process. Or your anger surges like a rogue wave, leaving lost time and sour feelings in its wake. Like a punch-drunk boxer, you find each new complication leaves you slower to react as the hits pile up.

In business, we're taught to step up and take ownership, to remove "can't" from our vocabularies. Our superiors press us to take on new responsibilities and make everyone's job easier. And our clients demand fast responses, believing problems can magically disappear in a phone call. Eventually, something gives way.

When it does, we feel so guilty. We grow surly or gun shy, doing everything mediocre and leaving work drained. We regret that we've lost control over events, lamenting what we're missing in our struggle to keep from falling behind. Sure, we can push through the fatigue and get everything done … at first. But it ultimately catches up to us. Looking for extra time, energy, and inspiration at work? Consider the strategies in 20 Ways to Get More Done…Today.

Jeff_schmitt
Jeff Schmitt is an online columnist for Bloomberg Businessweek. He has spent 17 years in sales, marketing, project management, training, legal compliance, and recruiting. You can reach him via e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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