“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”
– Sydney J. Harris (American Journalist for the Chicago Daily News C 1917 – 1986
It was two years ago and yet I remember it like it was this past week. A client was telling me how overwhelmed she was at work. She had so much to do and she could not get enough accomplished, plus people kept stopping by her desk. Between the work load and the drop-ins she was going nuts. I told her that if I were in here shoes, I would stop everything and take a quick break. I might go for a short walk or spend a few minutes meditating. That would help me relax and refocus and then I would be able to concentrate. I would be refreshed and have better energy.
She looked at me as-if I was a lunatic. Actually she did not just look at me as-if I was crazy, she actually told me she thought I was crazy. However, she did continue working with me and we did find a solution that helped to ease her stress. The solution that worked for her was to schedule two hours a week in a conference room and go into that conference room alone and work. This allowed her to concentrate and to have some time away from the steady stream of people who stopped by her desk.
Basically she began to schedule a ‘no interruptions’ time for herself. This is a great way to stay focused when you have too many distractions around you. Tell your team, your boss and anyone else that interrupts you that you are unavailable. Ignore your phone and your emails and take a couple of hours to concentrate. You will be able to complete so much more work that hopefully it will take some of the pressure off.
PS – I still think it is a good idea to give yourself a quick break when you are feeling overwhelmed but I understand that some of you just will not see the sense in stepping away from your work when you have so much to do!