Losing Your Patience?
Are you finding yourself short on patience these days? For many people, transitioning to working from home is a completely new experience. And even if you are a seasoned veteran of working from home, you may not be ready for working from home, while your spouse and children are home the whole day as well.
Although everyone’s experience is different based on their situation, skills, job duties, and previous remote working experience, there are some constants worth remembering:
- This will be new for everyone.
- It will sometimes be awkward and frustrating.
- It will require patience, adaptability, and grace.
- It will be a learning experience.
- Many things you try won’t work the first time.
- Things will sometimes break, not work, or work differently than expected.
- You will have to find a new routine that works for you.
- Things will just be different.
We can all work to develop more patience. An important idea here is that developing patience is just that. Developing a skill. We aren’t born with it.
Following are a few tips to help you build this skill of patience and survive the current situation.
The first step in developing patience is admitting you are impatient. Some people refuse to believe they are impatient for whatever reason. However, if you honk your horn as soon as the red light changes or are constantly looking at your watch for no apparent reason, then you probably should admit you are an impatient person. Once you have accepted this you can move on to the next step.
Try to figure out why you are impatient. What is the underlying reason? Are you stretching yourself to the limit multitasking and trying to complete things in a certain amount of time? If you are overwhelmed and that is causing your impatience, try organizing your thoughts and tasks. Organize them based on importance and the time it takes to complete.
If your impatience is geared more to personal situations or people, then take time to figure out why the situation or person is making you impatient. Is it a trait that the person cannot do anything about? Is it a situation that is out of your control? Or, is it something that is within your control to change.
Perhaps you get impatient when you worry or when you have nothing to do. If that is the case, start doing something – do some volunteer work or clean the house. If you feel yourself getting impatient because you are waiting for something or someone, think about something else. You will be surprised to find out when you stop waiting for something to happen, things actually start happening. It is like the old adage says – a watched pot never boils.
Addressing the Issue
If you can change the situation that causes your impatience, then change it. But, make sure it is something that should actually change. Some situations that we do not like or cause us to be impatient are good for us. They can become learning situations that will help us grow and develop.
Just because we do not like something does not mean it is not good for us. Situations that we cannot change may present the same challenge. They may be happening because we need to learn something from it. Is it a person that makes you impatient? If so, try discussing it with them without blaming them for your impatience. If it is a sensitive issue that you know will cause problems, it may be best to make your own adjustments or keep your distance.
Remember, nothing will be perfect.
Often our unreasonable expectations of ourselves and others creates the impatience we struggle with. Switching to working from home may be a radical change for you, any members of your household, and your manager, coworkers, and constituents. If your loss of patience is created by your new working situation, approach telework as an experiment and keep trying new things to find out what works best for you. We are all figuring this out together, so having patience, flexibility, and grace with yourself and others is important.
Getting better at being patient will make your life (and the lives of those around you) easier and ultimately will make you a happier person. After all – adversity won’t be going away anytime soon – it’s part of the human experience and you can’t escape it, especially with everything going on today. So you may as well learn to improve your patience, build the skill and calmly endure the setbacks, difficulties, and unwelcome roadblocks along the way.