In most work places, January is a tough month. All the achievements of the past year, which we worked so hard to obtain, are behind us and soon forgotten. In the new year, we need a first quarter with good results, trend curves going up rather than down, and a motivating kick-off meeting with your team. This means, we often work extra hard in January.
We would never advocate pushing yourself over the edge and would always advise that, if you feel symptoms of negative stress or burn-out, you must cut back. However, there is something to be said about endurance. Most people we come across that really “made it” have one thing in common, that beats luck, talent, skills, training and network: “Stick-to-it-ness.” They persevere, they pick themselves up after defeat and they endure.
If you are in a time of endurance, and if it has a purpose and a time limit, our advice is to enjoy it. Replace frustrations over a tough time with rejoicing in your strength, your capabilities and your power. Celebrate that you are given this opportunity to prove yourself to yourself, your team and your bosses. Quit blaming yourself for not being enough at home, with family, with friends or with yourself, and focus on what you are accomplishing.
If your endurance has neither purpose nor a time limit, it’s a different matter altogether, and you truly must find a way out of it. Focus on leaving office on time, keeping your hours and saying “no.” Focus on priorities, doing the most important thing first and only one thing at a time. Stay present in the moment. And make sure you get enough sleep and some moderate exercise during the week.
If however, you can see the end, or you can see the purpose of your endurance, celebrate it. Enjoy all that you are and enjoy everything that you can, and it will reflect on your team. Share the purpose with them, explaining why this is a good time for growth, and watch the motivation spread across your team. Spread joy and smiles, and tell your inner voice to stop staying “This is so hard” and start saying “I am so capable and resourceful, I can do this.” Because you can. And so can your team.