|Stress is not sexy.|
You want to throw things at the office: We toss paper into the waste paper basket. But what I am talking about is much more serious and frightening. I was on a conference call after less than six hours of sleep during 72 hours of production issues. I picked up my mouse and wanted to throw it into my monitor. I did the next best thing which was walk away from my desk.
You want to spend your time insulting others rather than helping them: Lack of sleep and the pressure of the job can transform a saint into a green hulking rage monster. If you find yourself wanting to insult your staff or belittle them you need a break. Your direct reports should not have to suffer because you are too tired to think straight.
You let things go you normally would not allow: When someone says, “I don’t care” it usually means that they do not have the energy to pay attention to the details. That is a recipe for failure and a bigger accident to follow.
Your staff starts asking you if you are ok: Being a manager means warring a “mask of command.” If you drop that mask and your staff starts seriously wondering if you are up to the job; you may need to take a step back.
You are not sleeping: If you can’t lay down and get some sleep at the end of the day. This is a serious danger sign. You need to finish up what you are working on and try to uncoil because not sleeping can create situations similar to being intoxicated.
You can’t focus: Leadership and technology require concentration. If you can’t concentrate you are sunk. Taking time off to step away from the project or just the office is going to do you a great deal of good.
Each of these things happened to me this week and I knew the danger signs. I told my boss and he was good enough to let me work from home. It was very positive and helped me get through a very rough period. It also protected my staff. Life is too short to work for bosses who are struggling to keep it together.
Until next time.