Getting back to work, NFL playoffs style
Today is the most depressing day on the American working calendar. Many people are back at work for the first time after the long holiday break. The return is worse for sports fans because the past few days have been an orgy of leisure time, BCS bowls and NFL playoff games.
But it’s over. Now we must go back to the grind for the next several months because there isn’t a single universal day off on the horizon until Memorial Day.
So how can you make it through this first day back? By using some of the same principles that are used in playoff football, of course.
Key No. 1: Don’t force the issue
Look at yourself as Joe Flacco, a rookie quarterback on the road. You don’t need to go out and try to make plays. Let the game come to you. Do only what is absolutely necessary. Are there a bunch of e-mails in your inbox? Respond only to those that ask you a direct question and request an immediate response. Is your office or work cell phone ringing? Let it go to voice mail. Did you have a meeting scheduled for today? Reschedule for next week. Remember: Channel your inner Flacco. Let your co-workers worry about the overall success of the company today. Your job is simply to fill your position and not do anything stupid.
Key No. 2: Give 110 percent
Here is what Fox’s on-the-field cameras caught Adrian Peterson telling his fellow Minnesota Vikings running backs before kickoff against the Philadelphia Eagles: “It’s win or go home. This is what we [prepared] for, this day right now. Let’s go out there and play 110 percent and leave it on the field. Let’s go out … [inaudible] … let’s play as one. RBs on 1 … 1, 2, 3 … RBs!”
If you use just half as many clichés and jargon today, you’ll be golden. Litter your speech with terms such as “thinking outside the box” and “core competencies,” and you’ll sound as if you’re working and as if you know what you’re talking about. You won’t be and you don’t, of course. But that’s not important today.
Some of these tips could come in handy this week.