Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Handling the Holidays

Holidays and vacations are a big transition from the daily grind.  Taking a holiday sometimes seems like work, especially if there is a lot of planning of the vacation and departure activity.

Holiday's can create crunch times in their preparation stages. A few years ago I planned a lengthy journey to England. This involved lots of advance planning and a minutia of details. In a while, I will start planning another big trip and I am at a bit of a loss to figure out how to make it better.

1) Take the planning one part at a time.

2) Don't expect every detail to be perfect.

3) Accept the concept that at least three things are suppose to go wrong with any big plan.

4) Follow the Crunch Time guidelines.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Crunch Time

Almost everyone and every industry has it's crunch time. For some it is at the end of the fiscal year or quarter. Others might find that their crunch time is a few weeks before the big scheduled event. Regardless of what the cause of the "crunch", it is always a good idea to look at the handling and management of the crunch.

  • Take some formal time to review all of the necessary steps
  • Do some calendering of required activities
  • Build in some extra time for the unknown problems. They are bound to arise.
  • Insert some time for taking breaks. Breaks can help reduce stress and keep you healthy.
  • Close and celebrate. You and your team deserve it.
  • Evaluate and make changes and workable adaptations for the next time. 
  • Get your future crunch time scheduled on your calendar and protect it by excluding unnecessary tasks or chores during this time. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What is Next? Beyond the Goal.

What happens when you reach your goal? While many Transition Your Life readers may not see the end or their destination at hand, I think discussing how one faces or handles this is of some importance.

When you reach your goal,  this is definitely when we need to first celebrate and savor in the moment of glory. This is something we should not miss.

Secondly, we need to appreciate what we or others did to help make the goal achievable. Very few journeys are journeys of one.  Sometimes upon reflection we realize others helped shape us and made contributions in ways we could not imagine. This might be the high school teacher, the motivational speaker, the neighbor down the road who always gave you a smile. 

Thirdly , once the momentum of arrival and completion has slowed, I believe we need to ask ourselves some questions relating to the accomplishment of the goal. Making an immediate evaluation of what we have done has some value, but when the goal or achievement is monumental, I think taking a few weeks to ponder this might be the best choice.
  • Is your achievement as you expected?
  • What lessons did you learn?
  • What if anything would you do different?
  • What in this specific achievement might be the lesson that is the first step on the next journey?
  • Who else might you thank?
  • Is there anyone who might be encouraged or educated, who is working towards similar goals?

Today the 1000 day sea project reaches it's destination. While the journey has been unique and offbeat, this might be a good a perfect timely example of how one needs to handle an achievement.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Falling Behind and Running Ahead

There are days when we think we are "ahead" and days when we are falling "behind". On the best of days we are right where we are suppose to be.

Here are some strategies to help you: 

When you are Ahead

First, mentally acknowledge yourself for being at the "ahead" stage rather than the "behind" phase. Second, take some time to build in a well earned break. Third, review the elements of your success. Sometimes we have developed new skills that have allowed us to move forward. Glean these as takeaways for the future.

When you are Behind

First take a deep breath, acknowledge where you are. Realize that this will not be forever.Second, spend some time working on strategies. How you might speed up, or move your project along? Sometimes we have to pull out of other unnecessary or less important activities to reach a project goal.Third, seek help. Many times we fall behind because we fail to enlist help. Sometimes that is what we need to move forward.