Feeling sacked? 6 ways to clear the end zone

If the weight of your work suddenly feels like you’ve been hard-tackled by ill-tempered teammates and you’re seeing stars, it’s time for an intervention. Remember these tips when struggling to recover from the hits and emerge steady on your feet:

  1. Prevent false starts. Avoid rushing into new projects—gear up first and position yourself as intelligently as possible to make beneficial use of your time. For any necessary resources you lack, address those at the front end so you don’t sputter out before the deadline. As best-selling novelist Tom Robbins humorously reasons, “Are you aware that rushing toward a goal is a sublimated death wish? It’s no coincidence we call them ‘deadlines.’”
  2. Recover from a fumble. Even when someone’s dropped the ball and you catch yourself wincing over costly errors, do your best to stay optimistic. Don’t beat yourself up, and avoid finger-pointing or penalizing well-intentioned co-workers. World-renowned author and speaker Dale Carnegie reminds us, “Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”
  3. Blitz perfectionism. Know when good is good enough, and move on. Your projects likely depend on being delivered on time and on budget, so don’t run out the clock perseverating over just one small detail. In the stunning words of Salvador Dali, “Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it.”
  4. Score some laughs. Psychology Today reports, “Humor in the workplace has been shown to reduce absenteeism, increase company loyalty, prevent burnout and increase productivity.” Relative to this point, actor Steve Martin jokes, “A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.”
  5. Take a timeout. Stop the clock and make it a priority to check in with your co-workers each week. Whether during your department’s recurring meetings, morning huddles or touching base over coffee breaks, it’s encouraging to share project updates, learn about any new work that’s in the queue, and observe how colleagues are resolving their own particular challenges. As we’ve all heard, there’s strength in numbers.
  6. Snap out of defeatism. Defend against any negative self-talk, which threatens your emotional stability and the decision-making skills that drive progress. To reprogram the way you think, wellness coach Elizabeth Scott recommends a therapeutic trick that involves wearing “a rubber band around your wrist; as you notice negative self-talk, pull the band away from your skin and let it snap back.” Changing the way you feel will change the way you think.


Michelle Peña is the senior editor of Office Technology Today and Small Business Tax Strategies. You can also follow her on Instagram @michymashup and LinkedIn @michymash.