Does this sound familiar? Knowing you have a big day ahead of you the next day, you have everything laid out perfectly with your entire task lists ready to go. You are ready to sit down and kick some serious ass and takes names as the superhero you are.

And then the wheels fall off.

The kids both wake up sick, a team member realizes they missed an important deadline, an unexpected client emergency comes up, your pet throws up on the carpet…whatever the reason, all your best-laid plans just won’t happen today.

First and foremost: STOP and take a breath!

Whenever stuff happens, you can either react or choose to respond. Reacting is emotionally driven when you allow what has happened to control you, and cause you to feel stressed and overwhelmed (AKA victim). A more constructive response involves stepping back to find a healthy way to address the situation (AKA victor).

Remember: it’s not the end of the world!

In the moment, it may seem like the most disastrous day in the history of the universe that no one could possibly understand. If you take a moment and look back at other times when you felt like this (and there have been a few) you will realize you won’t burst into flames, and it will all work out in the end.

If taking a breath doesn’t work for you, close your eyes for a minute, turn on your favorite song, get yourself a cup of tea, or call a friend and vent for a few minutes. Do whatever you need to do to give yourself time to reset so you can reassess and move forward from there.

The worst thing you can do is completely lose it and give in to the chaos (cue the couch, mindless movie and ice cream tub with a spoon). While it may not turn out to be the red-letter day you had hoped it would be, it doesn’t need to be a total write-off. You can still get things done (just not as much as you had hoped).

If you find yourself in this situation often, when stuff that comes up spoils your big plans, it’s not the world, it’s you. No excuses, look in the mirror. You have set yourself up for failure and you need to change how you operate to avoid this constant chaos for the sake of your sanity and those around you.

Leave Time for the Day-to-Day – Don’t overschedule yourself to the point that you have no time to handle the day-to-day things that arrive in your inbox. Leave room for addressing client needs or handling other time-sensitive things that come up.

Manage Your Expectation Around Time – Be realistic about how long it actually takes you to accomplish all the tasks on your list, including travel time! Plan for the worst-case scenario, like hitting every single red light and filling up with gas on your way to that meeting!

Prioritize Your Task List – When stuff does come up (and it will) instead of freaking out over everything, ask yourself what needs to get done today and what can you shift to the next day or even later in the week and focus on doing that.

Less is more – What if you just put less in your calendar all together??! What if at the end of each day you had a sense of accomplishment AND less stress? Hard to imagine, I know. This concept forces you to do only what is relevant and keep your word, but in the end the pay off is enormous.

By taking control of your schedule, leaving gaps for the unexpected and being realistic about what you can accomplish, you will avoid the stress of not hitting those timelines and not managing to keep up with your own schedule. You will increase your self-confidence and your colleagues/staff will trust you will do what you say, without the chaos.

Are your wheels falling off in the fast lane more often than you want? Tired of the constant stress and not feeling like you are getting your tasks done? Call me NOW to set up your FREE consultation and instantly manage your tasks and time better!

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