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Title:When personal crisis hits you at work

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Life is turning upside down and you are still expected to up your KRA numbers? How can one stay productive at work when a personal crisis is taking over one's life!

How often have you gone through a phase when life seems to be down in the dumps and you still have to pull off a straight face? It might be one of the most difficult times of your life; maybe someone is ailing in the family or a relationship is breaking down or you are in a financial mess. But then, your workplace doesn't have place for these issues. At work, you have got to work! You might have made your career the top priority in your life and also made a lot of sacrifices for it. But how do you keep those career ambitions on track when a major life event rocks your world and you just can't think straight? Any crisis could affect your attitude towards work, efficiency, availability and level of energy. How do you cope with work and deal with the crisis, at the same time? Here are a few simple solutions which will not entirely sort your issues, but will go a long way in easing this phase out and help you cope better.

But talk and share, think!
It might be a very difficult thing to do, but sharing and talking about the crisis with some trusted colleagues can help you deal with it better. However, choose your words wisely . Give your boss just enough information for him to fully understand the gravity of your situation. "At some point in our lives, our loved ones may fall sick; relationships can suffer; financial issues may crop up; and so much more. But we need to navigate through it all and come out a survivor. Rather than keeping it bottled up inside, it may be a good idea to talk about it to an extent with HR or your boss or a reliable colleague so that a certain level of support and assistance can be extended," suggests Sujata Guin, corporate director & associate vice president of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels.

However, it is advisable that you choose what you share and with whom.Dr Sriharsha A Achar, chief people officer (CPO), Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company, expresses, "In a regular work setting, communication is vital, be it internal, interpersonal, intrapersonal or external. In personal crisis situations, communication is essential in easing more work stress.However, confiding in too many people or the incorrect person could open the floor for gossip, which can interfere with the organisational workplace environment."

Make time for yourself
First of all, you are not a super human. So, do not put the pressure on yourself to perform your best at work and also deal with your personal issues.Instead, take time out for yourself. Take a break. Whether this means making the phone calls you need to make, researching things online, or just taking a walk around the block occasionally to clear your mind, feel free to do it. "One needs to take some time off to deal with the crisis effectively so that on returning back to work, one is more focused and productive. It is also important to stay active and take care of oneself during a crisis so that one has the strength and endurance to balance the personal and professional fronts," suggests Guin.

Keep your emotions in check
Remember, your boss or your colleagues are not your therapists. So, try and keep your emotions in check. It is understandable that you are a shaken person inside, but keeping a strong face up at work is also critical.

Distinguish between life and work
Rajesh Padmanabhan, senior HR professional, points out that in such situations, it is advised to take a break and focus on the personal aspects. "Assuming this is not possible, then it is ideal to break it down into two parts i.e., work and personal, and assign respective time zones. It is important to focus while one is in those respective zones and not try to double hat as this could leave both fronts exposed. If one is a good planner and is able to do this well, this will work," he avers.

Pen down probable solutions
According to Achar, one should pen down a list of things that would aid in solving their concerns, as well as possible steps that would help smoothen one's productivity levels such as working remotely or reduced work hours, during a crisis.

All of us go through dark times in life, and there's no shame in putting work aside to deal with life-changing matters. So, if you find yourself in the midst of a difficult time, hold on, as this too shall pass and you shall bounce back! Padmanabhan shares how organisations can be collaborative with employees going through a personal crisis:

Allow the employee to take a s break and assign the work to a colleague; The respective manager takes over the additional responsibility and the employee gets a break; Flexible work timings could be handy; Working from home or remote connectivity is a nice option if possible; Respect the individual's privacy and ensure DND (Do Not Disturb) status; Offer any assistance that is feasible; Give an unconditional time off.

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