A Day of Gratitude

The Thanksgiving holiday is special because it’s a day where friends and family come together to eat, to out-shout each other at the dinner table, and to watch football in a semi-inert state after the big meal.

Although it’s a truly American holiday, it has the special twist of ethnic twists in the traditional turkey and mashed potatoes menu (in fact, click here for a great multi-cultural “tasting”).

I also like to think of Thanksgiving as a day of gratitude. It’s a day to reflect and give thanks for the things that mean the most to you.

A Desperate Upsell

Have you ever been irritated when a routine task turns into an effort? Last week I confirmed a hotel reservation that quickly turned into an annoying customer service experience.

I gave the reservationist my confirmation number, and before she even verified my name, she offered me a car rental or ground transportation from the airport.

I declined politely, and reiterated that I just wanted to confirm my reservation. She confirmed it, and then told me that they were offering $100 off a 4-day weekend getaway: could she connect me to the travel department to learn more?

Of course, the answer was “no thank you”. I was about to exit the call and one last attempt was made to give me $50 in cash if I talked to their travel department.

Are You Losing Sight of the Big Picture?

When you’re inundated by obligations and responsibilities that overwhelm you, what happens to your concentration level?  Things can appear right before your eyes, but you’ll overlook them because you’re in a state of spin and not seeing the big picture.

Your brain goes into overload, and you process the information that will help you get the job done in the moment. You may fail to see your work in the context of a wider lens, and this may have a negative impact on something you do later.

The state of being overwhelmed controls you instead of you controlling it. Your job is to change the dynamic so that you are in charge of your mind and your actions.

Planning When Too Much Is Unknown

Sometimes you just can’t wrap your arms around a project because the unknowns far outweigh the knowns. Short of making yourself crazy, you need to accept the situation for what it is and work around the unknowns the best you can.

Let’s say you have a project scheduled for the first quarter of 2016 with a half dozen variables that would change the planning, process, and execution. The unknowns aren’t going to become known until an precariously short time before the deadline.

Maddening, isn’t it? Well, you don’t need to despair. You can use scenario planning to sketch out the possibilities.

Begin with the end in mind. You can outline the project on one piece of paper to start, and expand in project management software or a simple spreadsheet later.