Even the best time managers have to deal with the unexpected. As far as I know, there is no system available on the market that prevents emergencies from happening. Call it Murphy’s Law or bad luck, you can be sure that something will come up to put a wrench in your calendar, just when you least expect it. The key is knowing how to handle the unpredictable, and accepting it as a regular occurrence.
We’ve talked a lot about putting things in time. At Possibilities Unlimited, we train our clients to put all their business and personal activities in time so they can get real with what they have to accomplish. It’s also an accountability system that keeps important activities like sales from falling off the radar screen.
This topic came to me yesterday while I spent upwards of six hours taking my dog to two different vets, one of which was a doggie ophthalmologist forty miles away from my house. Needless to say, this was a pretty big wrench in a day that I had already planned out.
I looked at my calendar and started ticking off the things I could postpone, or not do at all. We call those, respectively, “Not Happening Now’s” and “Never Happening Now’s.” There were a couple of things that I needed to keep in the schedule, like an important client call. This blog could wait until the next day, as could the time I had set aside for updating my client database and working on some accounting issues.
I also delegated a few tasks to other people, and recruited some backup on the home front from my husband. At the end of the day today, I will reassess my calendar for next week to make sure I have integrated the things I needed to postpone.
Your calendar should have a couple of hours each week open for handling the emergencies that arise. Leave yourself some wiggle room to move things around to accommodate the fire drills that inevitably occur. If you find yourself with extra time on your hands (and I want to know who you are!) go back to your list of “Not Doing Now’s” and pick on to work on.
Accepting the fact that emergencies are a predictable part of doing business and life, and having a system for working them into your calendar will alleviate the stress and worry of trying to get it all done. You will sail over hurdles instead of letting them stand in your way, and you will be better prepared to win the game of business.
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