NEW: Samantha McDonald

You’re used to living on adrenalin, and suddenly your work life hits a quiet patch. Don’t panic. We can get through this.

Smell the roses

Samantha McDonald

Are you the kind of person who can’t sit still when you (inexplicably!) find yourself with nothing to do?

It’s such a common problem for business people and executives. We find that we’re happiest when our world is going at a hundred miles an hour, and our diary is packed with meeting after meeting, tender after tender, and all of the other things in between.

One of my clients found himself in this (enviable) position earlier this week. He had just come out of a month-long campaign in which had had been working ridiculously long hours, and basically living off adrenalin because he hardly had time to grab a bite, let alone eat it.

Then suddenly he found his diary was clear; there were no urgent actions pending. By the time I spoke with him, he was tearing his hair out with boredom!

When you find yourself in a similar position, try these simple tricks:

  • Check that you really don’t have anything pending! The last thing you want is to forget about that urgent document and actually miss the deadline because you were so busy being bored!
  • Daydream. Spend a good 10 minutes at your desk pretending you’re not at your desk. Take yourself off to a nice beach, a plane to Europe or up a mountain in Nepal … all from the comfort of your office! Daydreaming can be very good for the soul.
  • Take an early minute! OK, you’ve done everything you need to do. Why are you still at your desk?
  • Plan your days better. Did this current downtime emerge after a month of work, work, work? Do your family still remember what you look like? If your life has been a little unbalanced in the past little while, perhaps you could look at ways to even it out. That way you won’t feel so overwhelmed in the hectic times and underwhelmed when there’s “nothing” to do.

Oh, and my client? He took himself off to see his first movie in a cinema in years! And he had a great time.

To read more Samantha McDonald blogs, click here.


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