There are days (and sometimes entire weeks) where I feel like I am terrible at my job. A “what-am-I-doing-here?” feeling.
It’s usually born out of a confluence of one-off events that occur in rapid succession, leaving me with one of those hangdog expressions on my face (at least, mentally) as I exit the building, praying that the weekend will give me the recharge I need to face Monday.
Then I get home and my kids demand a game of freeze tag and monster tag, in rapid succession, and I know rest is not in the cards.
When this happens, there are specific steps I know that I need to take to get back in the groove. Because if I don’t, that feeling of low self-worth is just going to fester inside of me until it breaks free on its own, and that’s not an ideal situation.
Get Thee Some Exercise
I played racquetball a few weeks ago for the first time in my life. The sweat-soaked t-shirt I threw in the laundry when I got home stood as a testament to the cardiovascular workout I got from hitting a little blue ball against a wall. Until that night, it had been, oh, about a month since I participated in any sort of exercise. But that hour of exertion did wonders for my mental and physical well-being.
Clean Out Your Inbox
When you’re feeling pressure to deliver, a glance at your inbox (with more than 3,000 e-mail) can make it seem like you are suffocating underneath a torrent of digital correspondence. Isn’t it funny how the number of e-mail affects us, even though it’s stored somewhere on a server, and not physically in our mailboxes? It is. Laugh. When I’m feeling stressed, I find that a little digital clean-up helps.
Find A Story To Tell
I keep coming back to storytelling, but I truly believe it’s the role we, as PR professionals, should play on a daily basis. We have all of this information available at our fingertips, yet, we don’t take the time to dig through to find the compelling bits. I guarantee there is a good story to tell somewhere in this sea of data. You just have to find it. And when you do, use it. Prove to yourself why you were hired for this job in the first place.
Pitch A Story The Old-Fashioned Way
Once you have pitched that story (I always start with an e-mail) pick up the phone and call the reporter. Remember when we used to do that? It’s a bit of a nod to the old way of doing things, but it hearkens back to a time before social media became an accepted form of pitching reporters. (And there’s nothing like the rush that comes when a reporter tells you he is interested in your story.) Even in a world where everything seems to move faster than the speed of light, it’s okay to use your iPhone for talking.
For the Love Of All That Is Holy, Use a Vacation Day
Most of us are allotted vacation days at the beginning of the year for a reason: to use them. Yet, we’ve all encountered a colleague (or, maybe it’s you?) who fails to use all of their PTO, then watches it go to waste when the calendar turns over. This is a crime. Nobody is so busy that they can’t take a day off (or two) to recharge and reorganize their thoughts. If you’re not going to use them, I will.
Is there anything I forgot? If so, tell us in the comments how you get your mojo back.