How To Reset at Work – Here’s What I Do When Life Is Stressful Or All Seems Lost

Over the years, I’ve tried to come up with a “formula” for making positive, incremental, and sustainable improvements to the way I work when I’m stuck – and increasingly, I’m learning to trust the following concepts or ideas:

  1. Whenever I actively “practice on my craft” – and to me this means forcefully stepping away from all the noise, focusing my attention, doing the hard work without posturing for others, and working to really master it – that’s when joy and “flow” show up. Sometimes I forget that practice isn’t just practice. It’s serious stuff.
  2. Positive outcomes tend to come more frequently when I narrow my focus (or niche) and then narrow it some more. At what point does diluted milk simply become bad-tasting water?
  3. Whenever I decide to go bold and “own it” – focusing in on what makes me unique without imagining some audience of judges – there does seem to be more energy, excitement, and interest that lasts much longer. Gotta beat that drum.
  4. When I focus on process (systems) but not goals – similar to aiming for a true north direction or target but then focusing on the actual journey instead of the end destination – I’m usually able to produce better outcomes and have more fun.

In a nutshell,…Deep practice. Go narrow. Be me. Focus on process.

The world – with all its many news cycles, push and pull messages, electronics at our fingertips, and more – makes it far too easy to become unfocused and disorganized.

When I’m stuck at work, I refocus around the four ideas above, and within a few days or weeks, things start to click and fall into place again. The chaos evaporates. The mind becomes focused and clear. Momentum builds. Flow starts to happen. My work gets done. Joy reappears.

Eventually, a peace and awareness of self washes over me, and I find myself thinking “oh there I am”.


CHRISTOPHER MENGEL brings over 20 years of insights to business owners and talent leaders inside emerging technology and professional services firms to implement new initiatives, develop new strategies for growth, carry out organizational and cultural change, manage complex projects, and fill business-critical roles. Have a challenge you want to solve? Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter and subscribe to his posts or contact him.


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