The lazy days of summer are behind us. Now is the time to get back to work, but what does that mean? For some, those words can signify a time of great challenge — entering a new stage in life. Starting college, grad school, entering the job force. For others it’s just more of the same; just another crunch season.
How you react to the season’s big mood swing depends on a few variables. Did you take your vacation too early in the summer? Did you just get back on the red-eye, unprepared for the onslaught that starts the day after Labor Day?
Managers are on edge; new hires are nervous. The pressure is on! Can you feel it? I said, can you feel it!? I'm serious. You’re supposed to be feeling it. Why aren't you feeling it?
If you are not "feeling it," you're likely the type of professional that gets the job done regardless of the season. For you, the hardest part is not the work itself, but keeping from rolling your eyes when people say such things.
So what do you do if you're not feeling pumped this September? Where could you look for inspiration?
A supervisor, perhaps? A mentor? Both are good starter ideas, but most times you'll find that the good supervisors don't have time and others may feel threatened.
Mentors are great, but finding a good one isn't easy. I know because I'm still seeking one myself. You could try the newest trend and seek a handful of peer mentors instead of one expert.
After you’ve exhausted all the external avenues, now what?
This is the part of the article where the writer would typically suggest trying yoga or meditation, or some other activity you made a New Year’s resolution about. In my case, it was boxing.
One day a few months into training, I made the mistake of asking one of the more seasoned instructors their secret to success. I expected to hear a complicated routine that would take months for me to master. He responded by saying:
"Eat right. Train hard, and remember to duck."
Well, that wasn't at all what I wanted to hear. I wanted to complicate things.
Author and entrepreneur Ryan Blair put it a little more eloquently: “If it’s important, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.”
The problem is, most people only think about what’s important when they set their goals — perhaps once or twice a year.
When we lose track of why we're doing things. When we forget what is important to us or to the company. When we focus too much on just doing things for the sake of doing things, that is when our actions lose power. That is when we get stressed out. That is when we start skipping lunch; skipping bathroom breaks. That is when the zombie apocalypse mob begins to cheer.
So in a few weeks, when the sky begins looking bleak and the zombie mob starts their marching orders, remember to keep an eye on what's important. Fight the temptation to do what's easy.
Dust yourself off and get back to life.
Peter Altschuler is a contributor for Talent Zoo Media.