How To Keep Working When Your World Is Falling Apart

I’ve made plenty of mistakes when the weight of the world was on my shoulders. The pain of life is certain to hit us all. How you react when you find yourself at the base of a mountain is important. You don’t want issues in your personal life to compound the problem by impacting your work life as well.

via Mic445 @ Flickr Creative Commons

via Mic445 @ Flickr Creative Commons

As I think back on my life, there are many times when I remember barely making it through the day…

I remember going through the motions the day after my wife and I suffered a miscarriage of our first child.

I remember working many times after a night of fighting with my spouse.

I remember feeling the stress of not being able to pay our bills.

I remember making four-hour round trips each night after work to visit my wife and child who had to stay in a hospital for 40 days and nights.

I’ve also sat across the desk from staff who felt their world falling apart. They knew they needed to fix their personal life, but they didn’t want their work to suffer.

They struggled with the death co-worker, someone they had worked with for decades.

They just found out that their husband had cheated and wanted a divorce.

Their adult child called and said that he/she didn’t want to live anymore.

Their doctor notified them the night before that he/she might have cancer.

Their wife had just miscarried a long-anticipated baby. To compound the emotions, today they had to teach that teenager who was nearly full-term pregnant as a result of partying too hard a few months earlier.

So how do you continue working when all you really want to do is bury your head in the sand for the next few months? Here are some quick tips that might help.

1. If appropriate, let your supervisor know that you’re struggling. It’s important that he/she knows that there is a reason you are not at the top of your game. Your boss might even figure out a way to alleviate some of the extra stresses at work for a season so you have the time and energy to focus on what’s most important. Odds are that your boss has had to lead on empty before and should be empathetic.

2. Pick and choose your battles at work. Know that your priorities are different now than they were just days ago. Don’t start arguments or challenge systems or processes when it will only distract you farther from being able to handle your work effectively and to intensely focus on your private problems . Don’t forget that stress will dramatically lower your tolerance level for stupidity.

3. Lean on some trusted co-workers. Honestly, I don’t know that my employees would have survived some of their hardships were it not for the friend next door. Having a colleague who helps carry your burden of responsibility is vital.

4. Get some perspective on life. If you have personal days, it might be a good idea to take at least one of them to get refocused. Put things back in the proper perspective. Are you worrying over facts or fears? You want to make sure that you lower your stress so you can really think clearly and make the best decisions possible.

5. Never forget God’s ability to handle what you can’t. If we were truly alone in this universe, then you would be right to abandon hope. But you have a loving heavenly Father who promises to always watch over you. His intentions for you are good, as He is only good.

Life isn’t always easy. At times, it’s just overwhelming. If you’re in that kind of season in life, rest assured that you will make  it. Keep pressing on and do your work well. You might just come out better on the other side.

QUESTION: How can we help pray for you or someone you know? Leave a comment and allow us to serve you through prayer. 

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