In the weeks leading up to a holiday or vacation, many of us set internal goals to get our projects completed before we leave. This can cause undue stress on ourselves and others. In the seasonal business of construction, we experience this rush around Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.
In more than one instance, a customer has told us: “I need to have all bids by the Friday before the 4th of July. Then, after turning in our proposal, we follow up with a phone call only to find out that they are out of the office that day. When the customer returns from the holiday, they’re faced with a pile of tasks – and no time to look at our bid. (We all know the pressure on the first day back from vacation).
So what happens? Two or three weeks go by before the customer finds time to spend on it, even though it was absolutely critical that they have it before the holiday. The bidders could have been given extra time to create a more thorough and detailed bid. Instead, they were rushed and stressed to meet a deadline, which takes a tremendous toll on them and their families. Employees spend late nights in the office and miss family activities, in hopes of hitting the deadline.
This philosophy doesn’t just apply to bids; it’s true in life. We hurry to get everything done and “off our desk” before we leave for the weekend or vacation. But what does this do? Often, it just puts more work on someone else. When we stress ourselves out, we stress others out. When we rush and get frustrated, others rush and get frustrated. You’ve heard of the Domino Effect, right? Once the first one falls, it takes the others down with it.
The next time you set goals or schedule projects and tasks, ask yourself: “What if we don’t get it done before the holiday? Will there be major repercussions? Will anybody else be adversely affected by this? Would I want somebody to do this to me?” Properly balancing the workload will allow the right amount of time for tasks to be completed, which will ensure you can do the best job while minimizing the risk of mistakes. This will help prevent undue stress, which will benefit you and the overall wellness of those around you, not only at work but also at home.