April Showers – Weathering the Storm with Ease
We have all heard the proverb “April showers bring May flowers” but what does it mean to you? In work and life we can expect a regular pattern of showers and flowers to come our way. Showers may may be a minor hiccup that disrupts our plans or a major storm that changes everything. Either way, how we respond to the shower will determine how quickly the flowers will come!
In work, showers may consist of unexpected work projects, looming deadlines, resignations, terminations and other downpours that set you on a detour. How can we weather the showers of life?
Unexpected work projects can be significant time consumers and re-direct our focus from our primary responsibilities. This is when everyone on the team has to pitch in and help. It’s time to ask, “What can I do for you?” Sometimes what is needed is a simple as the ability to work uninterrupted.
Looming deadlines present a unique challenge if tasks have been put off until the last minute. One must become a master of their time through proper scheduling and planing. Block out time on the calendar to focus on projects and stick to the timeline. The best trick I have implemented is to set reminders on my calendar for projects and follow up; this helps to ensure things do not fall through the cracks.
Resignations and terminations, while frequently unexpected and generally undesired, must be embraced in order to move forward successfully. The most important thing to do is ask yourself these questions: “What should I learn from this? How can we improve?” Successful people always try to find a way to improve, learn a lesson and plan better for the future.
4 steps to weather the storm:
- Take a breath! Give yourself permission to relax a moment first before diving in to fix or address the issue.
- Plan! Look at the coming weeks and months and identify what is essential, what can be delegated, what can be deleted and focus on the priorities.
- Learn! Take time to evaluate how we can do better in the future, particularly if you are trying to fill a vacancy. Is the job description accurate? Is there a better way of moving forward?
- ACT! Get moving. The only way to overcome adversity is to take the first step forward.
When the showers of life are surrounding you, it helps to take the long view. Think back to a challenge you faced several years ago, a challenge you thought would drown your plans and aspirations. Most storms appear less threatening with hindsight. One way or another you weathered the storm and the same showers that sent you running for cover helped bring wonderful results over time. The rain will pass and beautiful flowers will come and bloom again!