One of “those” days

Photo courtesy of Joits (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Joits (Creative Commons)

I got up this morning to hot water, not the coffee I thought I had prepared the night before to be brewed and ready. Evidently, I was so distracted by all the things on my mind that I put the water in the brewer but forgot that little step of the coffee too.

It’s never a good sign when the day starts like that, is it?

When even the simple, routine things become challenges, it’s time to step back and take a deep breath.  As hard as it may seem in the midst of the chaos, it’s important to collect yourself or things will just continue to spiral out of control.

I work at a nonprofit, and our busiest time of the entire year is the month of December, especially the last week or two of the year, just before we have a much needed break from Christmas Eve until just after New Year’s.

My job is impacted by both the increase in client needs, as well as the end of year donation rush. It is easy to become completely overwhelmed and overloaded, as if my fingers can’t move fast enough across the computer keyboard. Couple that with the whole pressure of getting ready for Christmas, and I tend to become short with people, frustrated, and forgetful. And inefficient.

It is important to remember several things in order to combat the potential meltdown and stop having “those” days:

  • You can’t do it all – while it’s great to think that you are Superman or Wonder Woman, you aren’t. Admit that it’s impossible and impractical to get everything done and be realistic about what you can reasonably accomplish.
  • Set limits – you could get up super early and work late into the night and probably still not finish everything, and the only thing you’ve done is wear yourself out. Focus and work hard but set yourself time limits for the beginning and end of your day. You will be much more effective.
  • Take care of yourself – don’t let your work be the entire focus of your life to the exclusion of your health and family. Take time to eat properly, exercise and spend some time with your family.

How close are you to a “busyness meltdown?” How can you take a step back and redirect one of “those” days?