Are you stuck in a hole?
Behind on your work?
Under a pile?
– Drowning in your email inbox
– Neck deep in your projects
– Late on your deliverables
How do you catch up?
What do you do when you find yourself in that hole?
The First Thing To Do
When you find yourself stuck, you need to ask, “How did I get here?”
And of course, the first thing action you need to take is stop doing whatever got you there.
“When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.”
– Will Rogers
Sounds simple, right?
But, that is not always the case.
Often the actions that got us there are habits. Things that we do all the time.
– You email inbox is overflowing because you open emails and close them without action.
– You are out of shape because you eat junk food at work and do not exercise.
Stopping the digging isn’t always so easy.
How To Get Out Of That Hole
What hole are you stuck in?
Behind on your work? Email inbox overflowing? Out-of-shape?
Here are some tips to help you get out of that hole:
- Stop the Behavior! – Stop the digging. What has gotten you here? That is the question you will need to answer if you want to stop digging deeper into the situation you are already in. Are you tired everyday at work because you stay up too late? Stop watching TV and go to bed earlier! Missing deadlines because you leave things to the last minute? Impose self deadlines that are 2 days ahead of the actual deadline.
- Narrow Your Focus – If you are in a hole due to lack of keeping up, you may need to narrow what you are working on. Even pare your obligations. Sometimes you are in the hole because you are overwhelmed. Know your load, and take actions to reduce your commitments if needed.
- Choose a Different Path – Sometimes the best way to stop ending up in the same hole is to choose a different path. If you are constantly butting heads with a teammate at work, choose to work with someone else. It is not always that simple, but there are usually alternate paths to the same objectives.
- Replace Bad Habits – If your habits are your downfall, you need better ones. The best way to overcome bad habits is not to try to stop them but to replace them with new ones. Concentrate on new ones to overwrite the ones that are causing problems. For example, if you spend too much time surfing the web, instead of trying to stop it, replace that time with a more productive activity.
- Seek Help – Some people will not ask for help even when they are sinking into the proverbial quicksand. Whether it is pride or stubbornness, it can be a deadly attitude to have. There are some problems that require you to ask for help, (even professional help), to remedy. I liken this to the person who is seriously ill, yet refuses to see a doctor.
Finding Your Way Out
By replacing bad behaviors, you can stop further descent into your hole.
Getting out is another matter.
Don’t expect to get out immediately.
Depending on how deep your have dug, it might take while. Be realistic.
However, with hard work and sustained effort, even the deepest of holes can be overcome.
When you look back, you will wonder how you ever ended up in there in the first place.
What hole are you stuck in? How will you get out?