In The Trenches

Five surefire ways to increase frustration

Published on August 7, 2017 Back to blog
Frustrated Man with Steam Coming out of his Ears

As I sat down to write this blog post, I was realizing that I most often share stories and advice on how to make life or work a bit better. However, it struck me that those tips really depend upon your perspective. While many people, including myself, thrive on things like strong relationships, efficiency, productivity and rational thinking; others seem to thrive on chaos and frustration. So, this post is for them.

Over time, I’ve identified several excellent tactics for making your work day much less bearable – for you and those around you. So, today, in honor of those who thrive on this approach, I’ve decided to share these tried and true tactics. (Of course, if you are not one of these people, I’d recommend avoiding these tactics at all costs):

1. Complain – Perhaps the best way to get yourself going is to complain about the work that you have to do. This is especially useful if you are getting paid to do that work. A good rule of thumb for maximum impact is to spend at least twice as much time complaining about the work vs the actual time it may take to do the work.

 2. Avoid Deadlines – Whatever you do, don’t give anyone a deadline. If this is a challenge, just use ambiguous terms like “ASAP,” “when you have time,” or “some time this month.” This lack of clear guidance will almost guarantee late delivery by the other person and ensure your unhappiness and frustration.

 3. Let It Fester – For people who thrive on frustration, there’s no better way to address a problem than to just hold it in. If this tactic is difficult for you, just let it all out on someone who cannot do anything about the issue (see #1). This may reduce some of the initial misery, but will almost guarantee that the issue not only remains, but exponentially gets worse over time and infects others who may not have otherwise been involved.   

4. Never Explain Yourself – People should be able to read your mind. And in those cases where they can’t, and you are forced to provide an explanation, be sure to share the frustration you feel in doing so. This approach will help ensure unclear feedback so that you will be sure to not get what you really want. 

5. Don’t Get Too Excited – Sometimes, you see work that is so good that you just want to jump up and hug people around you. Don’t do it. This will undoubtedly cause people (including yourself) to feel too good about themselves. Hold in the excitement, and find something wrong about the work – best if it is something that kills it entirely and forces everyone to toss the whole thing out the door. If in doubt just say, “The CEO will never go for this.” That one almost always works. 

 I hope these tips help make your day a great one (and also provide a good laugh). 

Jeff Freedman
CEO/Managing Partner
Small Army | Finn Partners