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Down the Rabbit Hole

Susan's picture

In Alice in Wonderland, Alice falls down the rabbit hole and begins her whimsical adventure. The expression "falling down the rabbit hole" is often used metaphorically for people who are beginning a creative journey.

The expression is used in a far less positive way in the business world. I remember our CEO saying that people had "fallen down the rabbit hole" when they had lost a healthy perspective about work. They were stressed out, burned out, and overwhelmed. In short, employees who fell down the rabbit hole were often too far gone to be saved. There's not much room for success or sanity when you're deep inside the rabbit's hole.

Many times during my career I've seen successful people fall down the rabbit hole. Usually it's during time of tremendous workloads when sleep deprivation sets in and the ability to enjoy time away from work is all but gone. Co-workers can do their best to pull someone out of the rabbit hole, but most of the time it's the employee herself who must find her way out.

The idea of falling down the rabbit hole took on a whole new meaning for me this week when I witnessed my sweet 12 pound lap puppy literally pull a rabbit right out of its rabbit hole. I stood at my back door in complete horror as I watched my dog chase an unsuspecting bunny about her same size around our backyard. The mad dash was on until the bunny slipped safely into her rabbit hole. Or so I thought.

A second later I watched my dog pull the bunny right out of its rabbit hole by its tail. I'll spare you the gory details, but I can safely say that falling down the rabbit hole may have been magical and whimsical for Alice in Wonderland, but it was not so magical or whimsical for the poor bunny in my yard nor for the co-workers that I've seen it happen to.

The best way to keep from falling down the rabbit hole at work is to stay actively engaged in your life away from work. Remember to eat right, exercise, and get plenty of rest especially during times of high stress and heavy workload. You're 100% more likely to fall down the rabbit hole if you are mentally and physically exhausted.

Have you seen a friend or colleague fall down the rabbit hole? Were they able to get out? What about you - have you ever fallen down the rabbit hole? If so, what contributed to your fall and how did you find your way out?