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Archive for Priority Management

Take a 10-Minute Vacation

When a deadline is looming and the pressure is on to finish a task or a project, what’s your natural reaction?

        “I put my head down and push harder toward the  goal! It’s up to me to get it done.”

The PowerStep reaction is to do the opposite:  take a 10-minute vacation instead.

Walk around the building; grab a cup of coffee or soda; breathe deeply, look at a picture of your dog; read a funny story.

Here’s an example:  Joseph absolutely had to finish a proposal for a client meeting by noon.  It’s 10:45; he can’t figure out how to meet the customer’s deadline and stay inside the required budget. His heart is racing — he feels the all-too-familiar needles of anxiety in his back — every sound is a distraction.

Joseph leaves his desk – leaves the building – and walks up to the pond in the office park. He sits on a bench and watches the ducks swim and bob and preen for 10 minutes.

He leaves the pond with a smile on his face and a spring in his step. When he returns to his desk, he finishes the proposal easily.

By pushing back and looking up, he was able to  think about a solution instead of the problem.  The problem was a deadline so short, the supplier would have to add rush fees, which would push the project over budget. Joseph’s solution? Use multiple suppliers instead of one – a smaller job makes the timeframe reasonable, so there’s no extra cost.

Pushing back, even for just a few minutes, will get you closer to your goal than digging in — especially when the pressure is on.