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Big Mountain? Take Small Steps

“How do I keep up this work?” With that question Suzan * came to me. Suzan works as a manager in mental health care and is very busy. There are always too few people for too much work. A month or two before she came to see me, her favorite colleague also left. Suzan misses her buddy and rock in the surf enormously.

Suzan feels that her head is one chaos at the moment. She has to do so much: not only do her own work, but also put out fires from her employees and answer questions about waiting lists. Add to that a pile of administrative jobs and her agenda is packed.

While talking, Suzan notices that she still enjoys the work very much and that she is good at it. Her breaking point is the workload and the lack of time for herself. She feels that she is being lived by the organization and her colleagues. Her agenda is completely swallowed up by others. There is nowhere time to recharge.

“I want to do my work in a responsible way.” That’s how Suzan sets her goal after a while. Despite all the pressure and stress, she wants to see how she can organize her work in such a way that there is room for herself. Together with Suzan I investigate her ‘work pressure mountain’. Bit by bit the huge mountain becomes easier to handle.Suzan comes up with various solutions. First careful, but then come the bold creative ideas. She also discovers that administrative support would greatly relieve her. But nobody has that, ‘they’ probably never like that.

Suzan selects two of all options. She wants to reserve an hour for herself in her diary in the morning and in the afternoon. That must be feasible and she can do a lot in it. Her other choice (administrative support) seems more difficult to realize. We are devising a strategy on how Suzan could tackle that.

Two weeks later I receive an email from Suzan. Making time for themselves twice a day has been successful almost every day. And she spoke with her director. That conversation turned out better than she had hoped. Her director has promised to hurry with new employees, but in addition Suzan will soon get an employee who will take over part of her administrative work!

do you have such a huge mountain that you do not overlook for a moment? Then do it as follows:

1 Ask yourself what the problem is.

Examine your mountain, what is actually going on? What is going on? What are you currently experiencing the most problems?

2 Consider what you want to achieve

Make it as concrete as possible. It helps to formulate your goal SMART (specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic and time-bound). Suzan’s goal does not meet that goal, but it was concrete enough for her.

3 What options do you have?

What could you do to reach your goal? Think broad, think big, invent everything you can. It can’t be crazy or unrealistic enough. Schiften comes later.

4 Determine your choice.

View the options. What are the pros and cons? Which step is feasible to take now? How big is the chance that your small step will actually take on a scale from 1 to 10? If you do not score sufficiently on that scale, make your step smaller or view another option.

5 Take that small step

Consider when you are going to take that small step. Take action to put it, plan space in your agenda or make an appointment with someone.

In short: If you see such a vast mountain looming in front of you, use a step-by-step plan to arrive at the first small step.