How many times has this happened to you? You’re at your wits’ end with a project. You know you’re wasting time going around in circles, but you don’t know what step to take next and in which direction. You know you should probably ask for help, but you don’t know who, where, or how, so you simply don’t, and continue the frustrating cycle. Sound familiar? Here is how I broke the cycle this week:
This week, I had a fabulous lunch with a dear friend that turned into a time management coaching session…for both of us. I’ve been going out of my mind the past few weeks as I’ve started to feel the pressure to tie up a million loose ends before Baby Schwartz makes her appearance. My friend was frustrated with a portion of a research paper that wasn’t coming together in a neat and tidy way.
Even though neither one of us could magically take away the other person’s frustration, it was immensely helpful to talk through it and brainstorm solutions. We both left feeling much more confident in our abilities to accomplish our goals. Here are three tips to do the same:
1. Don’t be afraid to admit you’re frustrated
Sometimes we’re afraid to ask for help or admit we’re stuck because we’re afraid of looking stupid or admitting weakness. It takes a strong person to articulate frustration and seek resources to solve a problem. Friends can be that resource.
2. Don’t just vent, look for solutions
Venting and complaining can bring a temporary sense of relief, but it doesn’t actually solve anything. After a brief complaining session, steer the conversation toward brainstorming solutions that can evolve into an actual plan.
3. Share your successes
Follow up with your friends and let them know what worked and what didn’t work! This is less for your friend’s sake, and more for yours. It helps celebrate your successes and focus on positive improvements instead of negative problems.
Finally, I recommend having these conversations over delicious food or coffee. The helpfulness of that factor simply can’t be overlooked :-)