For whatever reason, it seems that expectations and commitments grow without limit. There’s an infinite number of things to work on, to worry about. Not only that, but the things you DO work on sometimes don’t go as planned.
Mistakes at work happen. At some point you have to admit that you’re not superhuman.
Here’s the key question to ask yourself: Five years from now, will it matter? When you look at the long term perspective, many issues simply fade away. Sure, you might get a little flak right now, but the larger relationships will help that to heal.
Watch out for this trap: Exploding the importance of something by only looking at the worst case. If I don’t do an awesome presentation in that meeting tomorrow, then my boss is going to think I’m an absolute idiot. He’s going to let me go, then I’ll be out of a job. The market stinks, so I won’t be able to find another job and I’ll lose my house. My spouse will leave me, and I’ll spend the rest of my miserable life walking the streets, descending into insanity.
Wow, that’s a lot of pressure to put on a three minute presentation in a meeting!
Instead, look at the most likely scenario. Perhaps I won’t make the best presentation tomorrow. But I’ll check with my boss afterward and address any questions or feedback he might have. Life will continue.
Here’s the lesson: Don’t heap on more pressure than necessary. Look at the likely impact on the long term big picture, and use that to prioritize your work. And then do the best you can, get feedback, learn, and adjust.
Unless you really are superhuman. We could use some of those right now.
by Carl Dierschow