When every project at work is priority number one, crisis mode, do now, how do you keep it together to get the job done without burning out? Oh my gosh, how many times have you found yourself in that situation? Me for sure! And being in crisis mode often can be the cause of burnout if we don't manage it well.
As a former law enforcement officer and also as a business owner owning multiple businesses, some days I'm like, oh my gosh. So what we need to do is practice a 3 step process which will minimize and even eliminate your stress response:
Not everything requires crisis mode. Not everything needs to be due right this second. Not everything needs to be done right this second, okay? So if you're feeling that all of a sudden your plate went from manageable to holy crap, and now it's full again, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. First, take a step back, detach, take a deep breath, take a look at what the thing is or things are that are all pulling at you at the same time causing you to be stressed out. Just look at it all. Second, you are going to figure out what the priority is on that plate, and third, you are going to take action on it. You are going to execute.
There can only be one priority, okay? If you have a plate full of 10 things. There can only be a single number one, followed by two, three, four, etc. All the way to 10. You need to be okay with putting things down at the bottom of the list. The most difficult thing by far in this process is being okay with something that does not get done. Maybe it gets done first thing tomorrow morning before work. Most of the time we are self creating the emergencies anyway, which means that we are creating our own stress. As crappy as that sounds, it's true and I'll give you an example. When I was a Secret Service Agent, I was assigned to a busy detail. I was driving home, it was really late and I hadn't eaten. I decided to go through a drive thru. There I am in the drive thru line, I'm looking at the clock and I am just exhausted thinking about what else I had to do. When I got back to my apartment I got a message that said I needed to get in touch with my in-laws. It was last thing that I wanted to do with everything going on. In my mind I freaked out. I was like, WHAT? And it was not an emergency urgent message to contact them or anything, but I created this huge stress response because I felt like I could not add another thing to my plate. That's what I mean when I say we create our own stress.
So if you are overloaded at work and you feel like every project is priority number one, detach. Take a deep breath, prioritize what actually needs to be done, 1 to 10, and then execute on step number one, I promise you, your day will go by smoother, you'll feel a lot less stressed and it all work out in the end.