It's been a tough week in Boston. Monday was a day of extreme jubilation due to our annual Marathon tradition, then a sudden drastic low - lower than low. I choose not to detail the series of events - they are easy to find through any search engine. Today on Friday, there is a complete lock-down in Boston and 5 neighboring towns because of a suspect remaining on the loose.
Don't think my blog title minimizes my feelings about what has happened. There has been tragic loss and injury, and many people in the region are anxious and even upset. My post is not directed at families who have sustained a loss or injury, or to families of the many first responders.
I'm writing more generally about the rest of us - those who could find reason to say we're too distracted to work - and many with good reason. I spent an hour early this morning glued to the television watching and listening to everything. I could have spent two more hours most likely. But then I got to work.
I had buyers to talk with, content to create, and to-do's to accomplish today by a certain time. It is still distracting, and I have to admit I have a local radio station streaming while I'm writing.
In addition to this happening with regional issues, it also happens within our families. When you are fighting with your spouse, or your kids are having health or personal problems, it affects you and your productivity. It can be a career-killer.
Three tips to help you through it -
1. Acknowledge what is going on, don't turn your back to it, but then move forward. If you feel paralyzed, regroup and think about your personal and business goals. Depending on what the issues are and how close to home they are, you need to deal with them accordingly. Work in time blocks - 30 minutes uninterrupted, or 3 hours uninterrupted - to get must-do items done today.
2. Step out. If you just cannot focus, you will do no good by faking it. Take an hour or two off. Get refocused and get back into the game of business and your career.
3. If you can't refocus, talk to someone about it. Know that you are not doing the company any good with eyes glazed and your mind elsewhere. In my case, I am feeling bad for people I don't know, and my mind is working overtime with all sorts of stressful feelings due to media reporting and social networks. When I turn them off, I can get work accomplished.
Clearly if I had issues within my family that I could do something about, I should do that. But after a week of feeling dragged down I know that others get this way too - and we need to talk about it, and we need to stay upbeat and positive in order to do our jobs while at the same time being good citizens and family members.
Share your thoughts - it will help others.
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management for 2012 and 2013". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling.