For the past two months, many mistakes have been made on one of my accounts and the client had grown quite tired of new mistakes appearing in each stage of the projects I was in charge of.
Between an extra task’s delivery being delayed, mistakes in a quote’s details or the name in the invoice, every week would mean at least one new problem arising.
After a while, we decided it would be better to have a meeting and explain everything along with the actions we had taken to avoid those repeating in the future.
The meeting was last week but I was scared to death even one week prior to it. I went as far as to wake up many times on the night of the meeting, worrying about my client’s obvious anger.
And then the meeting happened.
A small hour-meeting during which we went through all the mistakes done in the past year and some more I had (subconsciously) erased from my memory.
To my surprise, the client was very understanding and even took part of the blame for some of the errors made by my team and me.
What does that mean? That I spent a full week overthinking the meeting, picturing only the negative instead of the positive.
It also prevented me from resting fully outside of work since it would constantly be on my mind.
Had I been approaching the meeting with a more rested and focused mind, I am pretty sure the meeting could have gone even better.
It was a reminder that the tendency to overthink and worry about things never really works out for us.
If something must happen, it’ll happen. That’s it.
If we want to worry about it, it’s our right, but in the end, we’ll only be throwing a wrench in our gears and wasting precious time which could have been spent in a more productive manner.
So, since then, I have been wondering how I could control myself from feeling overwhelmed by stress and worries, and I have found a few steps which could help:
- Write on a piece of paper what worries you, all the risks you will face
- Cross off the aspects you have no control over
- Accept that you cannot control those and move your focus over to the rest
- Take the remaining and write down what impact you can have on each, in as many ways as possible
- Check the time you have left until the final date and work on each task, separately if can be
- The day before the deadline, pick up that list and see how far you’ve gotten. If some things cannot be handled in time in the end, cross them off in a different color and consider them impossible.
- Work on the newly-crossed tasks. If you can achieve any of those, you’ll have done more than expected and can accept the outcome more easily.
Small doses of stress or worry can be positive on a daily basis, but more often than enough, we let ourselves become overwhelmed by them and lose all control over our life.
I believe if we can regain just a bit of control, we should be proud of ourselves!
How have you been dealing with stress? What’s your technique for moving on and having a positive life even in tough times?