Getting Things Done in Tough Times

Once in a while, life grabs us by the throat.

Our personal life takes front and center as some major stressor seemingly assumes control.

The business, meanwhile, is put on the back burner.

Now, this is not a bad thing. However, sometimes we need to keep things going to keep the bills current. We need some semblance of order and reason.

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The problem is: We are not thinking reasonably or rationally at all in a scenario like this, which makes it very hard to focus on work.

Your ordinary business task, large or small, may seem impossible. But it is possible. In fact, it’s necessary.

I’ve seen this play out in my life time and time again.

For example . . .

When I was fifteen, I was under an enormous amount of stress, physically and emotionally. I was in literal pain and had been for years due to Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Spondyloarthropathy Arthritis. I also suffered from depression and anxiety.

I was a high-strung and sensitive teen, to put it mildly. I had my reasons, but there it is.

I was also an A-student, and put a lot of pressure on myself academically. Only the best would do. I was a perfectionist, and it was my downfall.

My body couldn’t keep up with everything I expected of it. It was too much. My nervous system rebelled in a big way.

I developed what’s called a conversion disorder. That’s a condition in which your brain converts emotional stress into a physical condition. In my case, my legs stopped working. I could no longer walk.

This was, understandably, devastating. I was horrified and frightened of my own body. It may surprise you that after all the testing was done, the “treatment” was simply to resume my normal activities. To go to therapy (behavioral and physical) and return to school.

I spent all my time getting to and from classes and hardly heard anything a teacher said for an entire year. But I “walked.” It took about ten minutes for me to take three steps, because mobility was no longer automatic. I had to tell my muscles exactly what to do every time I took a step.

It was painful and hard, and it took forever.

I did it, though. I retaught my muscles how to move. I learned to walk again—and how to handle my stress.

I did it one step at a time.


That’s how we need to deal with any stressful situation in our lives—anything that throws us off balance or pushes us to a point we think is beyond our limits, whether in business or in life.

Take one step. Even if it hurts. Even if it takes you hours to focus on something that should have taken minutes. Even if you think it’s a waste of time to even try.

Take one step. Then take another. And another.

Sooner or later, you’ll make progress, and find that things aren’t so impossible after all.