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Ask the Expert – Give Yourself a Time Out

By: Ted Miller, HMCC, CHME, CHSP, CGTP, CGMP | May 30, 2017

Question: Recently I went through a career changing experience and I have to tell you it came as quite a shock. How do you suggest I get my focus back and start the process of finding a new career?

Answer: If you have been with an organization for a long time, it is be a real shock if the company decided they wanted to part ways with you. First be aware that many times this is caused by a lack of top line revenue and many positions may be affected in order to reduce costs. My best advice to you is to “Give yourself a Time Out!” You need time to step away from everything and just take a deep breath. If you are going to get your focus back, it will come once you have had time to think about all the great things you have accomplished and where you might focus your efforts elsewhere. Once you have had time to stop and take some time for yourself, you will be better able to calmly set a plan for yourself and how you want to move forward.

Question: It always seems after our big event that it would appear everything is done but then the back end accounting raises its ugly head. How can I stay motivated to finish the final work and get my focus back?

Answer: This one is simpler than you would think. If you completed a proper post event meeting you should have all the correct information available, it just needs to be properly formatted. Since numbers do not require sleep or need to be fed I suggest you leave them alone for a few days and “Give yourself a Time Out!” A few days away is required after producing such an event so you can get you focus back. One key way to determine if you have unwound from this ordeal is based on how well you sleep. If you are getting quality sleep then you are ready to return and finish off the last details. If you had just pushed forward you might have made several errors that would have required more time to correct them than if you had just started the process fresh.

Question: In the time leading up to our large events it always appears our staff gets more edgy and unproductive as several deadlines approach. How can I calm my staff and still complete all the tasks required on time?

Answer: To produce large events you should be using a “Reverse Time Line” to help you plan all the work that must be completed. Based on the duties each staff member must complete, I suggest you strategically build in a “Time Out” for each staff member to give them time to regain their focus. You can do this individually based on the personality of your staff or you can have a day when you and your staff enjoy an activity together away from the office. The point is that you can drive people only so far until they become unproductive. A designated “Time Out” can make people better focused.

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