Most people consider me to be super organized and always on top of things. I have systems in almost every area of my life, my to-do list is the first thing I look at every morning, my clients rave about me always being prepared for their appointments and even my kids know not to disturb mommy when she’s working on a project. Everything has its place and time. Emails, phone calls, family and business.
But let me tell you something you probably don’t know about. No matter how organized I am, the unexpected still happens and even I have times when I need to improvise. Of course I deal with my unexpected stuff in a very organized way, and this is why I decided to give you a couple of tips to help you when you find yourself in these situations. Today I’m showing you how to overcome unexpected challenges and I’m making it as simple as 1, 2, 3…
Step 1: Know yourself
Before I go any further, it’s crucial that you understand what you do when the unexpected happens. If you don’t know how you handle change, I strongly recommend the Kolbe Assessment for you. Kolbe measures your natural strengths, and instincts that kick in when the unexpected happens or when you approach a new challenge or situation.
It’s also important to know your values, your priorities and set your boundaries. This will help you make wiser choices even in the midst of unexpected challenges.
Once you understand what you do in such situations, and know your values and priorities, it’s easier to continue the process and come up with a plan that will work for YOU.
Step 2: Have and follow an emergency plan
If you don’t have an emergency plan yet, there are two ways to create it:
- Write down what can possibly go wrong with a specific project or what went wrong in the past. Then come up with the best solution and you can approach the situation next time it happens. You might even do some research on what worked for others who dealt with similar situations. This is a wonderful exercise for you if you resist change and all you can think of are the negatives, why NOT do or change something? You would do this before you start a project.
- Start from ground zero. Every time a situation comes up and you’re facing an unexpected challenge, take time to write it down and figure out the best possible solution if a similar situation arises again in the future. This will especially work for you if you are natural risk taker and jumping into new projects comes as second nature to you. You would do this during or after you start a project.
The important part at this stage is to FOLLOW your plan.
- Who needs to know that your website is down? Contact that person!
- Who can you call when your child is sick? Call them to come over.
- Who can help you reschedule your client appointment if you have a power outage and no access to the internet? Have them on speed dial!!! (TIP: Remember to have your client contact information stored somewhere that’s accessible for that person.)
- Where can you find a new assistant when your existing one quit without notice? Don’t delay and hope for your assistant to change their mind, find a new one right away.
This list could go on and on, I just wanted to get you started. What other challenges have you experienced in your business, work or life? How about family?
Just a quick bonus tip before I move to the next step. One of my favourite strategies when the power outage happens (It proved super helpful during power outage here in GTA = Greater Toronto Area this winter), is to charge my cell phone in a car. I keep a car charger in my car at all times. My iPhone allows me to stay connected to the outside world, not just through phone calls and text, but also over the Internet. Super helpful, especially if you run an online business!
Step 3: Give yourself a break
There are times when there’s nothing you can do. Get over the desire to please everybody! Give yourself permission to take time off when your child needs to see a doctor or you need to stay in bed.Always try your best, but if there's nothing you can do, do nothing. Click To Tweet
Couple years ago I was supposed to run a teleclass. It was meant to be my Birthday Bash, my gift to my audience. I was super excited about the topic. It took me many years to learn the lessons I decided to share. I spent weeks to promote the event. I had all my notes, all the yummy content, people registered and ready to join me. However, when I woke up in the morning, my voice was gone. I prepared a hot cup of green tea (and I am NOT a tea person), I took a triple dose of Vitamin C and home-made chicken soup, but at the end I decided to pack it up and postpone the event. As I mentioned above – after you try your best and there’s nothing else you can do, just do nothing.
There are time in life when you need to I put yourself first and get well in order to give 100% to your audience, team or stakeholders. In this case I was happy to live what I “preach”.
Question: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in your business and life and how did you overcome it? Would you deal with it differently if it happened again? Let me know on your favorite social media platform!
Are you looking for more tips to improve your productivity and efficiency? Check out our Planning For Success, the ultimate guide to planning and goal setting.