Two Lessons from My Personal Hell I: Getting in Shape During the Countdown Period

2 Apr

I’m going through hell right now.

Not the literal hell described in the Bible, just a harrowing gauntlet of which I am a partial architect.

When I took over my new role as director of environmental services for a long-term care facility, I knew that I would have to let some people go.  I planned on one for the short term, but ended up letting four go in less than a month.

So now I’m short staffed, which has led me to working for over three weeks without a day off, beginning week #4 today.

I have learned two lessons from this.  The first is to get in shape.  The second is to deliver superior results and service no matter what.  Let’s turn to the first.

In You’re in Charge — Now What? by James Citrin and Thomas Neff, the authors outline an 8-point plan for having a successful first 100 days in a new leadership role.  The first step is to have a successful countdown period — the time between accepting and starting your new assignment.

One of the things Citrin and Neff discuss is to make sure you are physically ready for the rigors of your new role.  It might seem trite, but if you have to work 20+ days straight, then you will appreciate having taken some time to get in shape.

I have three simple tips for enduring the worst job-related hells.  And mind you, this isn’t the first job-related hell I’ve experienced.  This is just the one I’ve managed to whether the best, and it comes from failing to handle similar situations in the past.

First, have a workout routine.  I still don’t follow this, and it is to my serious detriment.  If I were in better in physical shape, I’d be able to sustain longer hours.  Not for the job, mind you.  My lawn wouldn’t look like an African savannah right now, my house wouldn’t be a toxic disaster area of old McDonald’s wrappers and ancient cans of pop, and when I look up to consider my next sentence I wouldn’t see a nasty black cobweb.

Second, have a hobby or outlet.  My hobbies are reading good books, blogging, and having fun with my kids.

During this time, I have spent time playing with my kids.

I’ve read Dave’s Way by Dave Thomas, and I’m meandering through The Last Patriot by Brad Thor (very overrated writer, but he gets the job done and keeps the pages turning with an engrossing story).

I’ve seriously lapsed on writing, finding myself less-than-inspired.

I’ve maintained two of my three hobbies — dropping out of life just fuels depression.  Staying active in non-work pursuits is very important.

Third, place your hope in a higher authority.  I encourage everyone to find fulfillment in the God of the Universe, father of Jesus Christ and the one described in the Bible.  When people feel connected to something bigger and better than themselves, they experience far more motivation and job satisfaction.  The spiritual dimension is no different — so search for God and become connected.

With these three in play, you will feed your body, mind, and spirit as you manage your current assignment.

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3 Responses to “Two Lessons from My Personal Hell I: Getting in Shape During the Countdown Period”

  1. Joshua Smith May 6, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Dude I dont know who you are but I gained some insight from your post. Also I am very impressed that you said that the God of the Universe is the Father of Jesus Christ and not the trinity. I dont know what you meant completely but its something I have been pondering and studying now for a while. I would love to gain some insight into what to do with my career, I am studying business, but I would also love to hear your story of faith. Thanks

    • Cory Tucholski May 8, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

      Check my other blog — I’m an ardent defender of the Trinity. It happens that the concept of the Trinity separates the persons of it, but not the essence (or soul, if you will) of those persons.

      Meaning there is only one God, but he coexists as three separate persons. First is the Father and Creator of the Universe. Second is the Son, who willingly sacrificed himself as propitiation for the sins of humanity. Third is the Spirit, who indwells and empowers us so that we no longer have to live in the sin that enslaves our human flesh.

      Functionally different. Ontologically the same.

      The implication is that I can refer to the persons of the Trinity separately (as I did in this post) yet still remain an orthodox Trinitarian.

      But that’s really a discussion for my apologetics blog.

      I’m glad that you are also a person of faith. My other blog’s About Page has more about my journey of faith if you’d like to read it.

  2. unalteredgrace July 2, 2016 at 11:42 am #

    Hello! Found your blog recently as my husband and I are soon to open a fast food restaurant with my parents (who are in the business already). Just wanted to comment on how much I appreciate the articles I’ve read so far and I especially love that you shared your faith in Jesus in this one. How true!

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