A conversation series between Lindsay Boccardo and Lauren Moffatt, HR expert.
Lindsay: Okay I want to play a little game with you. It's called putting you on the spot.
Lauren: I'm sweating now.
Lindsay: [laughs] Okay, so I'm going to pretend I'm your client. You're a career coach in real life, you help people all the time develop their careers, get to where they want
to go. Set awesome, reasonable goals and then nail them. That's what you're known for. So I'm coming to you. I need some career advice. Okay?
Thanks for meeting with me. Here's the thing. I am so overwhelmed. I have got 700 emails in my inbox; I don't even know which ones matter at this point. I have meetings that are double backed on each other that I'm not making. I feel like I'm letting everybody down
and then I'm not even getting done the basic stuff I'm supposed to get done. I feel like I'm going to lose my job. Where do I start?
Lauren: Tell me what feels the most draining to you.
Lindsay: Well, my desk is covered in papers, then I open my email. 776 emails.
Lauren: So there's chaos not only in your physical work environment but then also on your computer.
Lindsay: Yes! Where do I start?
Lauren: If you could change one thing right now that would give you energy, what would it be?
Lindsay: I would light my desk on fire. [laughs] No, that's good. Probably...probably getting out of the office actually getting away from the chaos and just getting my email to a manageable place.
Lauren: So your email is the most stressful. If you could go to a coffee shop or be outside and crank that out and get that done, you would feel some space?
Lindsay: Yeah. You know how in 776 emails, there's probably like 40 that are real? I suspect only have like 35 emails...I just need to get it done.
Lauren: How long do you think that would take you?
Lindsay: Just to get it separated out? Probably an hour. And then if I really do have like 35 emails, that'll probably take a couple of hours. So half a work day.
Lauren: So when you think about your week, when would you like to do that?
Lindsay: I have time this afternoon. I mean it's Friday afternoon and half the people are gone. Probably just get it done.
Lauren: So it's a great time to do it. Where would you like to go to do it?
Lindsay: Uh, we have a coffee place in our building that I could go work in.
Lauren: Awesome. And whenever we have to do something that's draining, sometimes it's just helpful to do something that's also energizing. Maybe a coffee, or going to a
place that you'd like to go to...
Lindsay: Or sitting with one of my dogs? I have 400 dogs. Okay, that's great. I'll take my dog for a walk, then go to a coffee shop.
Lauren: That sounds great. And then one last question. How would you celebrate getting that done? What's something you're looking forward to doing? Can't be drinking. [laughs]
Lindsay: Well...I guess I'm getting a piñata then. Um, or bowling.
Lauren: "Bowling" [laughs].
Lindsay: I'm gonna take myself bowling! [laughs] I could see like getting a little chocolate truffle.
Lauren: A little decadent dessert. Yeah, that sounds great. Then you got your afternoon.
Lindsay: Okay. I can do this afternoon. I can do it. Great. Awesome. So this is really a scenario that in real life, you and I probably talk to somebody about it once a week. Overwhelm totally puts you in a fog. Your brain is scrambled. You can't think straight, you don't know what to do first. That's totally normal in learning how to manage new technology, the different communications that are coming in, and your different priorities. If you're feeling overwhelmed today, just do the first thing that will make the biggest difference. It's different for everybody. It could be cleaning off your desk. It could be just going for a walk. Organizing emails is a big one depending on how important communication is in your organization. So, awesome.
Lauren: Exactly. Go get some chocolate too.
Lindsay: Yeah. Definitely get yourself a decadent....what did we call it?
Lauren: Chocolate truffle.
Lindsay: A chocolate truffle.
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