Martin Summerhayes (martinsummerhay) wrote,
Martin Summerhayes
martinsummerhay

Work Week from Hell - Mindfulness in action at Work: Stressed out, Max'd out and Out of Time

This week has been the “perfect” stressful week from hell.

The “perfect” comes from the “perfect storm” expression whereby a combination of circumstances develop into a dramatic situation of no time, no resources, unreasonable requests and people shouting at you. And, yes, this is what has happened to me.

As one of the many people in “salaried employment”, there are weeks or periods in the year, like year-end, quarter-end, deal-end, or service compliance-end, where a number of activities and deadlines coincide to create a situation where there are so many deadlines, requirements, checks, cross checks, customer reviews and cross cross checks and questions, that you can feel as if you are in the perfect storm. “Help, help I cannot cope any more” is the outcome you feel.

However, whatever “industry, service, product, customer type, delivery model, region, geography, etc.” you are in, there comes a time when 2, 3 or even more events collide into that moment.

The “moment”, where, you feel like: ……………………..

crying, screaming at someone; shouting at your PC; working through the night; blaming someone else; blaming the previous administration; accepting the issues or running away; resigning; or worse possibly ignoring the situation and hoping things will go away.
Don’t forget the way you deal with the situation at home with friends, loved ones or family!!!

So what happened this week to create the “perfect storm”?

There was the “Incorrect budget set for next year” where we have to quantify the number and cost of the resources in the organisation and the charges we would receive from the customers. “3 year Term Plan Submission”, the realisation that the previous organisation had incorrectly planned over the next 3 years year’s not taking into account the loss / win of a major client. Finally, re-designing how you charge customers for £26 million per annum of business, with 8 years of issues unresolved; with the deadline for submissions of all three areas by Friday 13th.

This week, I have experienced the 5:30am wake up alarm clock and early mornings at the office by 7am; late evenings where I have not left the office till 7pm and later when I have got home and have had dinner, continued working past 11pm; challenges of the validity of the data and is it from finance or from the operation and could you have manipulated it; many long conversations and arguments on how to present information to the executives; plus re-working the plan assumptions which takes hours and hours.

So, how has “mindfulness” helped me?

The “3rd person view of the world” has helped to stop the blame game of he said / they said in the review of the 3 year plans.

The “7-11 breathing exercise” even during an extreme teleconference where I was silent for 2 minutes and no one else spoke [GO ON TRY TIMING 2 MINUTES and realise how long the silence is!] helped where I was aggressively challenged on the new way to charge the £26m to the customers.

Finally, talking through as the “2nd person perception” i.e. what would you do, to plan the budget for next year
.

I have practiced every day both mindful movement exercises for 10 minutes and 15 minutes of guided mindfulness meditation.

The results for me??? The budget has been submitted! The mid-term 3 year plan is aligned. Finally, the proposal on how to charge £26 million business has been passed!
It has been hard, stressful and taxing, but even during the 2 minute silence, the breathing exercise worked. Trust me….. it works………

Please feel free to comment if you are in a consultancy, service business [business-2-consumer, business-2-business or voluntary organisation as well] as I am not sure if this happens across all sectors……


Tags: communication, compassion, conformity, life, mindfulness, outside in thinking, work
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