Don’t sweat the small stuff.


This motto is as relevant to our work life as it is to our personal life.  It’s so easy to get caught up in inconsequential details and meaningless drama that have no bearing on the big picture.  Before we know it, days, weeks and months have passed and we’re tired, stressed, and no closer to our endgame.

As a leader, being able to keep perspective - deciphering big stuff from small stuff and then letting go of the small stuff - is essential.  Sometimes this comes down to delegation; having someone else manage the minute details.  Other times, it comes down to a choice about whether or not you are going to invest precious energy in “small stuff” – petty power struggles, trying to prove you’re right, complaining about deadlines or bureaucracy or the challenge du jour.

What are some strategies to help keep perspective?

Remind yourself that you work to live.  Keep a visible list of your personal priorities and goals and take stock regularly to see how you’re doing.  Remember that you are in this job by choice. Commit to making every day count, and acknowledge your daily accomplishments.  Give yourself permission to say no.  Make peace with chaos.  Learn to deal with negative people and resist feeding into their drama. Recognize when you are telling yourself a negative story, and stop the downward spiral.  Let go of battles that cannot be won.  Commit to taking the high road and being the bigger person.  View challenges as bumps in the road, not roadblocks.  Stop beating yourself up when you make a mistake.  Make allowances for incompetence. (Face it, incompetent people are all around you; build that reality into your expectations.) Accept that at any given time, someone will be mad at you. Most importantly, remind yourself that you are in charge of how you react to things; you are in charge of your life!