No matter how well organised you are there are always going to be times when things go wrong, take longer than planned or the unexpected crops up. Sometimes – especially if this happens over two or more consecutive days – it can start to overwhelm you. This is when you start to realise that there’s no way any human can do everything that needs to be done at the moment (e.g. today, this week, before a deadline) and you start to worry, stress and perhaps even panic.
I had 3 consecutive days like that last week. On the first day, where an unexpected technical issue cost me 7 hours from my day, I just rearranged the rest of the week to make up for this. Then some extra, urgent work cropped up the following day – a day where I was already overloaded trying to catch up from the day before. Then on day 3, another unexpected ‘challenge’ occurred and I was starting to stress.
Day 3 was last Thursday. Although I made up for lost time, I also realised that I was now way behind schedule with what I wanted to achieve that week and it was time to take drastic action if I was to avoid a breakdown before the end of the day.
Here’s what I did to ensure I caught up on Friday – even finding time for an impromptu interview with a national newspaper. Hopefully these tips can help save your sanity too.
1. Make a cuppa. I know this sounds crazy to some people, but when you’re feeling overwhelmed with the amount of things you need to get through, the first thing to do is to ask yourself, “What is the best thing I can do right now?” And if you’re particularly stressed, it may be that by taking some time out for yourself first, you’ll actually function better throughout the rest of the day.
So in my case, I made a cuppa and sat down with a pen and paper and my to-do list and started planning how I was going to handle everything.
2. Next, make a list of everything you need to do today (or this week or by your deadline) – this is what I did while enjoying my cuppa 🙂
3. Go through that list and cross off or reschedule anything that can wait until later.
4. Then decide if there’s anything you can delegate. In my case, I called in the pros:
By now you should really be getting used to delegating, outsourcing and finding ways to save some time.
By the end of the day hopefully you’ll be in a much better place – you will have achieved so much, but also be more relaxed knowing that everything is being managed and under control.
Now the last step in this process … grab a nice cold drink and sit back and relax 🙂