You love your work. The drama that surrounds it? Probably not so much. Every professional has to deal with irrational demands, micro-managing bosses, grandstanding meeting attendees, etc. But we'd all love going to work just a little bit more if we could eliminate this sort of craziness.

You can, insists designer Brandon Gregory on A List Apart recently. Or at least you can significantly reduce it. All you need is a better grasp of the root causes of office irrationality and a few simple formulas for combating it.

Anxiety + Time = Drama

In the post Gregory recounts a classic episode of client insanity, in which a person he was working with insisted he spend precious time fixing a problem that really wasn't a problem at all. Was she simply sadistic? No, he realized later. She was under crazy pressure from her boss because of her department's under-performance and felt she couldn't risk even the tiniest possible screw up.

This one small example of a common and problematic office dynamic led Gregory to develop a general principle of drama that just about anyone could apply to their benefit. Here it is:

Anxiety + Time = Drama

"When anxiety goes up against an approaching deadline, it grows and that results in drama," he writes, explaining his simple formula. Great, so given that deadlines (Time, in this equation) are often beyond our power to change, the way to reduce drama is to reduce anxiety. How do you do that?

Responsibility