This is a big one because we all go through this. And it usually takes a lot of seasoning to reach the point where we don’t bring that stress home.
You know the drill:
You pick a fight with your family,
or hate on everyone in the world,
or want to bang your head against the wall,
all because you’re frustrated about
some employee who didn’t show up at work,
or a cook who made a crap dish.
It feels kind of stupid but it lingers on and that affects our life. It affects our night, whether we sleep well, how tired we feel the next day, etc. It’s tough because we HAVE to get up and put on a smile every day. We have to do it in front of our staff, our customers, our vendors, even when we don’t mean it.
So how do we do this? How do we not bring home the stress from work? And how do we get here faster instead of waiting 15 years for that seasoning?
Let me talk to you about my experience. I went through many years of not knowing how to do it (9 years to be exact). So I came back home in the same way I just described to you. But if I had this solution a long time back, I’d be thinner, feel younger, have less white hair, be happier and healthier.
Here is my secret.
80% of our problems are repetitive. If we create a structure to identify and find a solution to them before they happen, we take away the stress of dealing with a good chunk of issues at any given time. We only then have 20% of challenges that may crop up in a week. And 20% is much more manageable than 100%.
Here’s the structure I recommend and personally use.
Have a weekly meeting of 30 minutes with your entire team. Before the meeting write down as many of the common, repetitive problems you may have had in the previous weeks. Examples are running out of a particular ingredient, running low on disposables before the weekend, or a no-show employee because of a scheduling mix-up, etc.
At the meeting, discuss who’s going to handle what problem by when. Once the meeting is over, everyone gets down to doing their part. The key here is consistency in holding these meetings every week.
And don’t forget to ask your employees for simple solutions or suggestions. Sometimes they have better solutions than we have.
So Monday we go into problem-solving mode, maybe Tuesday too, but by Wednesday, all our common problems are resolved. And most importantly, you won’t have any problems on Friday, Saturday, Sunday (the big days). Maybe you can even take a Sunday off while the restaurant is busy and go for a movie with your partner.
Eventually you’ll be confident enough to put your phone off, enjoy the movie, and let the staff handle the show. That’s how I brought home happiness instead of stress.
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