Frozen into Inaction in your Practice?
Have you ever had so many “screaming emergencies” on your plate at once that you actually experienced a feeling of being frozen into inaction? Or maybe there were several overwhelmingly important decisions and you just felt like all your “brain space” had been taken up and there was no room left to process the correct answers? Or perhaps your staff all seemed to need your attention at once, and you felt sliced and diced?
What to Do in These Situations
Now would be a good time to shut your door (figuratively perhaps, but better yet, for real). You kind of have to draw back from the whole scene for a couple of minutes. Take a really deep breath (and let it out and continue breathing). Then decide to yourself that you are feeling happy … seriously, you CAN do this and make it happen. Recall a joke or two until you are smiling.
Handling Situations to Ease the Emergency
At this point, I think you will find it very helpful to quickly jot down what these immense-seeming situations are that you are confronting, whether it’s a list of the emergencies, the important decisions, or the problems the staff are presenting to you. Now look at each item on the list objectively (away from the maddening world) and decide which is important or a priority and which is something that can more easily wait till later. Then start on the most priority item, or go handle the most pressing problem. After that, do the next. Stick to it and get the whole list handled, even it takes a few days. BE RELENTLESS!
If your desk is covered with things you need to do, you can approach this task in one of several ways: organize the papers into piles by types of work and then work through each pile one thing at a time; or, you can make a list of the things and then work out the priority sequence in which you wish to handle them and then start at it.
Getting Back into Control
Quite often, I find that taking the thing I least want to handle and doing that first will make me feel better and more like handling the rest. At other times, I have found that just taking one thing and doing that right away (doesn’t even matter if it is THE most priority) and getting it done, I now feel like control is starting to come back into the scene and a momentum has been started, and I begin to “unfreeze”. There seems to be room again to “process” and feel that I can make decisions.
Just remember when in a clinch: All this will come to pass. And brighter days are ahead!
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