06 Apr Work to Live | Reduce Stress at Work | April 2015
Work to Live | Reduce Stress at Work | April 2015
Welcome to the April 2015 issue of Work to Live and greetings from beautiful Bozeman, Montana. Thank you for subscribing to this issue and please take a moment to learn more about me in the “About Us” section.
My Corporate and Outdoor Update
March is an interesting month around Montana. You never know what the weather will bring. The dry season continued in the Gallatin Valley, but the fishing has been outstanding. Friends are quick to remind me of this while I spend the majority of my days inside. I have been preparing for a big job at work. It’s one of the largest acquisitions in my company’s history, and I am in charge. It’s one of those moments from Rocky 1, where he has one shot to prove he is not a “bum”. That may be a little dramatic, according to my wife, but I am taking it head on and am prepared to go all 15 rounds. It’s going to be a fun ride and I will keep everyone updated as the job unfolds.
Even with all the corporate work, I always find my way outside. The Missouri River has been fishing great all winter and the spring is no different. Floating “down Low” I had the chance to pick up a few nice rainbows, and one brown that made the day. There was some lingering ice around the lower boat ramps, so we had to get creative getting the boat out. We had the river completely to ourselves all day. As always, the day couldn’t be complete without a stop at The Frenchman Cafe in Wolf Creek, MT. I also had a day on the Upper Madison near Ennis. The rainbows are starting to pool up and eating on anything bright and flashy. Most of our hook ups are taking place in deep, slow pools. Look for the Upper Madison to keep improving with time in the next few weeks. It always amazes me that guiding clients don’t make the trip to Montana and fish this time of year. It’s the best fishing all year and beats the hell out of July and August.
For this month’s edition I will talk about a few ways to reduce stress at work. One of the most difficult things a lot of professionals face is knowing how to handle stress at the workplace and when to shut down the work brain. In a corporate world we are always accessible, we feel like our job needs to be 24/7. Being top producer, chasing a promotion, etc are important things, but we need to have time for family and passions. Here are a few ways I found to do that.
Airplane mode at 5:00.
At 5:00 every day regardless of what issue has arose, what deal needs to be completed, or email that needs returned, I shut down for the day by placing all work technology into airplane mode. This can be difficult at first, but allows me to truly unwind with my family or the outdoors. We need mental breaks from our day. That is just the medical facts. The time after 5:00 allows us to have time to shut the “work” brain down for a few hours and recharge with our family and friends. Work will always be here in the morning, that I can promise you.
Condense work issues.
We all have customer issues and complaints. It comes with the job and can make a productive day unproductive, fast. It’s how and when we deal with these issues that keeps us focused and productive. Find a time during the day that you feel best. For me its from 8:00-9:00, right after my first cup of coffee. I feel upbeat, alert, and ready to tackle the day. Clients feel this enthusiasm as well. It come across loud and clear in emails, phone calls, and face to face meetings. Take this “best time” to answer any issues that have come across your desk. Limit issue resolutions to this time only. In a day, we only have so many hours. Successful individuals make the most of these hours. By allotting a set time to manage issues, you can be sure to spend the rest of your day advancing yourself, your company, and most importantly, your clients. Taking on issue after issue during a day can be counter productive, and add stress to an already stressful corporate world.
Be a great communicator.
If you are like me, you have probably read over the qualifications in a job posting you were interested in applying for. You thought to yourself, “what exactly makes a good communicator?” It has you thinking…I can talk, I can hold a conversation, I am proficient at composing detailed emails. Being a great communicator goes way beyond any of those things. Being an excellent communicator, and what all employers are looking for when you see that word on a job description is this… How do you behave and communicate in stressful and time sensitive situations. Anyone can send an email, or tell the representatives in another department how they feel about a particular situation via email. It’s the tone and organization of facts during a time where nothing has gone right, that makes you a great “communicator”. No matter how bad the situation, or how little time you have to act, what separates a poor communicator from an excellent one is how well you present the issue and describe the facts of that situation. You will make your life easier and less stressful by taking a step back, reviewing the facts, documenting the history, and compiling all necessary items to the correct parties. No one responds well to a malicious message, especially the party in which the message is intended for.
Simple enough, right? What does being proactive actually mean? Being proactive by definition means, “serving to prepare for, intervene in, or control an expected occurrence or situation, especially a negative or difficult one.” One of the easiest ways to lose a client is to keep them out of the loop. The hardest phone calls you will ever have with a client comes when they have discovered an issue first, especially when you had knowledge of it. If you foresee an issue coming down the pipe, it will serve you very well to communicate that issue immediately. Come prepared to the conversation. Explain the issue, what is being done to remedy it, and have a plan of action to make it right with your client. The corporate world is not perfect, but you can earn your clients business and trust by being transparent right away. Be proactive, not reactive.
Enjoy some photos below or visit my Instagram page. Always remember, work to live, don’t live to work.