This time of year, while exciting and filled with the anticipation of the holidays, can often have a “Fall Frenzy” feel to it. There is a lot of pressure at the workplace to get everything completed by the end of the year. In addition, the change of season naturally causes a change in energy which sometimes adds to the stress without even knowing the source.
When we find ourselves getting caught up in the “fall frenzy,” we like to check ourselves and regroup in order to stay productive and make the most out of the best time of the year.
Here are 5 tips to calm the chaos at the workplace:
- Put things in perspective. When chaos and stress pile up, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. One of our favorite recommendations is to change your environment (even if just for a short moment) to regain your perspective. It is great to have a picture of the solar system, a globe on your desk, an image of a dense forest, a huge ocean or a vast desert by your desk. Even better, take a walk outside for fresh air and LOOK UP. Remembering our place in the universe and all that goes on around us, despite us, and sometimes in spite of us is humbling and oddly comforting. Of course, getting your entire team out of the office and into a new environment is another way to help the team regroup and refocus on what is important.
2.Plan ahead. Making a list often gives a sense of calm and control. The added benefit is the sense of accomplishment once items off of that list begin getting crossed off. Studies show that making a list gives you a sense of “inner mastery.”
3. Take time to socialize with colleagues. While this might seem like just one more thing to add to your to-do list, taking the time to meet up with your coworkers in a new environment and without the stressors of work in front of you helps you to build relationships which often leads to finding solutions and better cohesion down the road. While some might roll their eyes, team builders to help to break down barriers. It also helps that burning off some steam will help you to concentrate when getting back on task. Happy hour anyone?
4. Reject the theory of multi-tasking. Don’t let guilt set in if you feel like you aren’t multitasking enough. Research has shown that almost 98% of people can’t concentrate on more than one thing at a time. Instead, use your list (see above) and give yourself time frames to ensure you move through your list in an effective manner. Adding guilt to chaos never works! One way to keep yourself and your team on task is to take the project out of the office. The office often has distraction after distraction. But a new environment, where there is only one task at hand, will allow productivity to skyrocket.
5. Define and maintain boundaries. When there is a chaotic environment, you often learn the wrong way where your limits are. If you set your boundaries and know your limits in advance, it makes hectic workloads easier down the road. Of course, part of defining and maintaining those boundaries include communicating your boundaries to those around you. Of course, when this is done in a thoughtful and meaningful way it has a powerful message. But if you wait until your limits have been surpassed, in a chaotic environment, it doesn’t always end so well for anyone.