A few years back I had a meeting with some of my solution focused colleagues and we were talking through some of the day to day challenges that happen in business.  The never-ending to-do list, urgent issues that keep coming up, overwhelming situations, and negativity in the workplace. One of my colleagues quickly and emphatically reset the conversation and said: “Don’t get stuck in the weeds!”

Getting lost in the weeds can happen to the best of us and we need to surround ourselves with positive staff and colleagues so that we can quickly get back to a better frame of mind. In the restaurant world, the phrase means getting overwhelmed and behind. In business, it is a very similar concept. It is easy to get hung up in the day to day piles of paper, customer complaints,  unhappy teammates, lack of project money, staff turnover or stagnant inventory.  Getting lost in the weeds is a place where we can’t see any perspective, we miss important opportunities and we are caught up in the never-ending urgent but not necessarily important tasks and requests. Of course, the workplace can be busy and there are challenging times and I am sure no one expects every day to be easy breezy. However, having the foot on the gas peddle for long periods of time and being overwhelmed is not a recipe for success.

This is where owners and managers can develop strong leadership skills and turn things around at work. Some ideas to kickstart brainstorming or to implement are:

     – Develop a culture where everyone gets to participate in big-picture thinking and acknowledge successes often.

     – Encourage individuals or departments to come up with their own mission statement to feed into the larger company one.

     – Confront negativity and talk it through with your colleagues. Definitely don’t be a negative Nellie in your workplace.

     – Make sure everyone takes their breaks and vacations and respect the hours of work and let the shifts end at the agreed upon times.

     – Even though staff will go the extra mile for the company and the team, don’t be the one always laying down the extra mile. It will eventually take its toll.

How do you reframe or reset yourself in overwhelming or negative situations? Do you have an awesome workplace culture? What are some of the routines that work for you and your team to not get lost in the weeds?