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Surviving 24 x 7

Effective priority setting an indispensable to your survival in the competitive market.  Unless you learn to manage the way you decide to use your time, your priorities you won't be unable to manage anything else. 


Constant and irreversible changes in workload, budgets, personnel, technology, and job priorities can make impossible demands on your work life. Whether you've changed supervisors, switched departments, or had your job caught up! Yet there are vital practices to safeguard your sanity during a times of change and transition- you need to consider what you do control, have a technique to regroup, reassess, and decide not only what to do but what not to do.


Think about the changes in your work, what percent of those do you control? 50%? 10%? 0%? Whatever your answer, you are right. The only thing you have 100% control of is how you react. Recent studies have that remaining optimistic and energetic about the future and by choosing not to agonize over things that you can't change is key to your well-being. There's no better way to waste time in life than to dwell on what you don’t control. You should learn what you can control, so that you can modify your responses -- and then move on; decide what you will do and what you won’t. Sound easier said than done?



When confronted with the impact of change most adults react in five ways: conscious, habit, pressure, impulse, default. When we make our decisions consciously, we accept the change and commit make to the future happen in a desirable way. Yet 90’95% of our decisions on a daily basis are by habit. By the time we’re four we have decided how to survive in life, and those habits or "survival strategies" carry into our work world.

Yes these very behaviors that helped us survive our childhood, can also lead us down burnout blind alleys if we are not careful. How do you get through impossible demands, additional work requirement? Have you ever heard your self say, "I like the challenge…I can handle this… will be over soon…. It’s not so bad…. If I could just work harder, faster, longer…. I should be able to handle this!

When you tell yourself these things without assess the situation it add to your stress, overwork and burnout. And you become vulnerable to pressure. And when the pressure gets great you do things on impulse, or, if overwhelmed or anxious, you make decisions by default, you end up not making the decision, which becomes the decision. It is not unlike going to the grocery store when you are h hungry without a list, you can get a lot of non-nutritive foodstuffs but not the enough ingredient for a meal.

If you make your decisions by default, impulse pressure or habit, you just don’t’ get the results that you want.

So to make you decisions consciously during change and transition here are four vital practices that can help:

Dump Your Mind

Your conscious mind is single dimensional, and when bombarded with information, new tasks, new directions, it can go on over load, so its time for a mental catharsis.

Julie Morgenstern is an author, Time Management -From the Inside Out suggests sitting down with a big piece of paper and divide all of your demands and tasks by broad category. A simple example creating one space for tasks related to a boss or client, another for demands from family, another for finances. Under these umbrella sections, break tasks down further into specific projects. Make sure you write down every "to do," and keep it all in one place -- in your sacred planner, or close to it. This will help you clear your mind and gain control, and it will become a vital reference in times of reprioritizing.

Dead Reckon

The best thing to do in a time transition is to make time to regroup. Asses where you are, pull back, review what you are doing and what you need to do. As a performance coach I teach the technique I learned while navigating planes with my pilot father. When we questioned whether we were on course or not, we would circle the plane and dead reckon- identify just where we were, instead of using our gas to fly further in the wrong direction! The result? A calm perspective, when we could have been overwhelmed or anxious.

You can gain the same benefits at work -an emergency project will monopolize your day, but it's dangerous to let other tasks fall by the wayside without considering what is most important during a chaotic time. The biggest risk is the tendency to react to pressure or impulse and pursue the loudest thing, which is not necessarily the most important. The perspective you achieve from a pullback moment is indispensable.

Drop Anchor

Along with dead "reckoning" moments must come anchors. We all need to drop anchors to get us through a time of transition. Anchors are practices done in a reliable, consistent manner that ground us. Whatever they are for you: workouts, regular meetings, specific times you regroup, assigned tasks that are best done on certain days etc- be prepared to shift the time that you are accustomed to doing these things, but do not abandon them completely.

Our anchors are also those things that we are good at, which when relied on carry us and provide stability in an unstable time. The top manager of a production line was promoted to division head. He deserved it he had turned the company around. The change was not without its challenges as the director was a high functioning autistic child who had used his developed powers of visualization to develop a successful career


On of the biggest mistake people make in a transition time trying to do it all, by working harder loner and faster, without considering that as much as they want to they might not be successful this way.

Doing that may lead to burnout and a lack productivity. Committing to regroup and assess what you can do and deciding what not to do will give you the most sense of control. To clear your mind and gain control, write down everything on your mind and then reprioritize by 4-D’s Ask yourself


Why am I doing this?

Can I delay it without serious immediate, irreparable damage?

Can I downsize it, do less of it, and minimize my investment of time without consequence?

Can I delete this? What if I don’t do it at all?


In the new 7 X 24 work world, you may not control what happens to you, but by making your decisions consciously, about what you control and want you don’t really helps you be optimistic and energetic about the future!


 Application of Principles:

A top manager at Hewlett- Packard had been asked to manage by walking around.  Having no extra time to do anything, he took a time dump his mind, complete a mental catharsis, regroups, dead reckon, while he dropped anchor, he looked around and decided what to do and what not to do.

 In less than six weeks he had accomplished his goal and was rewarded with a new job overseas managing the entire manufacturing plant in Germany.

He accepted the change and committed make to the future happen in a desirable way.

By Susan Wehrspann

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