Friday, 24 August 2012

Frustration, technology and how to have a good bad week

Although I am often nauseatingly positive, today I'm going over to the dark side ... to talk about frustration, how much I HATE technology sometimes (most of the time) and how to turn a week that makes you want to punch a baby into a week that makes you want to open a daycare for newborns.

My week began like any other ... slow to start Monday morning, sped up a bit by the afternoon, and by the evening I was ready to sprint through to Friday. Yikes, I would come in dead last at the Olympics. Nonetheless, everything was moving well until I came face to face with a big, bulky, obnoxious adversary ... our office printer. I shall call him Chad Kroeger. After three long hours and a LOT of crumpled up paper and self-worth in the recycling bin, I gave up and let him win.

Now, I can hear the #firstworldproblems tweets whizzing out of your smartphones as we speak. I know, this is not a big problem. But, when your week is starting off like a productive run around the track, obstacles like these have the ability to trip you and completely throw you off ... especially when they include the lead singer of Nickelback's robotic alter ego.

So, how do we get up and get back in the race? Well, here are a few tips from a girl who is still standing and was able to silence the noise coming from that awful excuse for an artist ...

1. Walk away. Avoid going all Office Space on him, channel your inner Kelly Clarkson and WALK AWAY.
2. Do something else. Preferably, far away from technology. For example, make some tea, chat with a few colleagues about Monday's episode of Bachelor Pad and try not to look directly at Chad ... your eyes may start bleeding.
3. Set something up to look forward to. For example, plan to work from home on Friday, far away from Kroegs and in the comfort of your sanctuary.

My Friday home office
4. Do something with your anger. Channel your inner frustration and turn it into action. My personal favourite is going for an angry run. What the hell is an angry run?... you might ask. Well, in it's simplest form, it is a jog. But the trick with an angry run is that you have to spend the whole time thinking about how pissed off you are and HOLY CRAP, do you ever fly.
5. Lastly, and most importantly, win. No matter what it is that is frustrating you, it is essential that you get closure and chalk it up as a win. Now, I'm not saying if a colleague is being frustrating that you should go all Biggie vs. 2Pac on them and have a showdown in the office. In this context, a "win" constitutes anything that will calm your nerves and allow you to move forward. If it's a conflict with a colleague, invite them out for a coffee and have a good chat (unless your colleague is actually Chad Kroeger). If it's a printer, ask for help, laugh it off and try to learn something valuable.

Every once in a while, you're going to have a week that feels like a  never-ending Nickelback concert. When you do, remember that you are human and it is okay ... but also remember that you can turn it around if you put your mind to it. Take the time to understand what is making your week so horrible and work to change it. Be intentional. Find the tricks that work for you and stay focused ... you'll be amazed at how much it helps.

"In every difficult situation there is potential value. Believe this, then begin looking for it." - Norman Vincent Peale

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