Dealing with Personal Issues or the Blues? 3 Ways to Ensure We Can Still be Effective for Our Clients

We develop coping skills early in our lives. Some of these coping skills may be effective in our adult working lives, but in some cases, we may need to develop new skills for dealing with personal issues while still producing at work.

This is particularly true for consultants. In the corporate world we may be able to close our office door for the day, or work from home. We can choose mundane things to work on like clearing out our email or organizing our files. But as consultants, we don’t want our work for clients to suffer when we have periodic issues that take some of our focus and energy.

Here are three suggestions for keeping the rocks moving forward during times of personal challenges and the resulting distraction:

  1. Use Lists. I make lists of specific tasks for my projects when I’m feeling on top of my game, for example after exercising or first thing in the morning. These lists provide some simple things I can work on when I’m not feeling well or having difficulty focusing and doing the most demanding parts of my work. You may have to take a call or meeting, and generally we have the fortitude to do a great job there. The client may not even notice we’re off our game. But, in our office where we have a choice of what we do on an hour by hour basis, having this list that we created ahead of time can help us effectively put one foot in front of the other. Choose the things you can do and trust that tomorrow, or soon, you will be able to tackle the more challenging parts of your engagements.
  2. Cultivate a professional support network. Similar to personal support groups like friends and family, these are co-workers that you have a personal relationship with. WIC is a good place to develop close work-friendship relationships. Sometimes you won’t need to reach out to this group, like when you’re just having a bad day. Other times, this close network of co-workers that have become friends will give you encouragement and help you feel stronger and more able to work through the challenging times.
  3. Set aside a couple of hours for yourself. I know we all have more work and more demands on our time than we feel like we can handle. We also need to give ourselves time to just be, especially during personal challenges. Take a long lunch, go in late and take a long walk, or plan to cut your day a few hours short and go do something for yourself. This can re-energize us and help us get back to ourselves more quickly than trying to force full work days during times when we have personal or emotional needs.

There is no  panacea, but there are helpful tactics to continuing to be productive when that’s the last thing we want to do or believe that we can do. I’d love to hear ways you have found to be productive during down times or times of personal challenges. Your tip may be the one that really helps someone else out.' About Melody Appleton

Melody Appleton consults with businesses to accelerate brand awareness and revenue growth through a critical combination of strong positioning and messaging, marketing planning, and integrated marketing programs. Melody's strategic and integrated approach helps small to medium enterprises build momentum and get results.


  1.' Rachel Melia says

    Melody.. So true, consultants can’t take a day off like office workers. Fortunately, we can often fake it over the phone. These are great strategies for working while dealing with personal issues.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Rachel. Do you have any tips or tricks you would like to share?

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