Welcome to Part Three in the WHY things don’t get done series.
Today we’re talking about the unexpected.
Sometimes things happen that we can’t control. Sometimes they’re little blips (like unexpected phone calls or emails), sometimes they’re a series of little blips that add up quickly, and other times they’re things that shift our attention for a more extended period of time (like a day or several days).
Let’s talk about the little blips first.
Little blips might cause you to reprioritize your day. For example, I had a former client call me unexpectedly one day. So, of course, I answered the phone without hesitation! I hadn’t talked with her for months and wanted to know how she was and what was new.
The mistake most make here is then trying to cram everything on their to-do list for the day in the remaining time (and get frustrated) OR working later to make up for that unexpected call.
Instead, decide what you’re moving from today’s list to tomorrow’s list because this is all about intention. Your intention doesn’t need to be to follow the plan exactly as laid out. Instead, your intention can be to have a plan that you’re doing your best to follow. And when the unexpected happens (because we all know it does happen), you are allowed to rework your plan.
Just like your goals and intentions are not set in stone, neither is your to-do list for the day. You get to adjust it and decide, “Is this still something that I want or need to get done today based on all the other things that happened today?” Then make adjustments as needed.
The second part of this is the things that shift our attention for a day or more are what I sometimes call LIFE happening. These are the times when your top priorities (like family, your health, etc.) cause you to have very little, if any, time for your business.
In these times, it’s completely understandable that things in your business are a lower priority. So tell people who might expect things from you what’s going on. You don’t have to share all the details if you don’t want to, but you do need to let them know that you’re not going to be available. And this will free you up to take care of yourself or your family or whatever/whoever you need to.
If you’ve created checklists or plans for your projects or goals, then you’ll know where to pick up when you have a bit of time that you want to use to get something done in your business.
You’ll also know where to pick up when you’re ready to start back in your business. Know that it’s okay to tackle the easy things for the first few days.
I did this after my Grandfather passed last year. After having some time off, I got itchy for the structure I’ve built for myself around coming into my office to work. I wanted the comfort of that structure. But I also didn’t have the attention span or focus to do the tasks that required a lot of energy, creativity, or focus.
So, I gave myself permission to write down all the things I needed to do when I did have that focus and allowed myself to do the easy stuff first. Yes, those weren’t the highest priority tasks, but they allowed me to get back in my office and feel like I had that structure I needed.
Give yourself permission to be where you are and recognize that you’ll make the adjustments later. Do what’s best for you in these times and let go of the shoulds.
Next week, we’ll discuss reason #4 for WHY things don’t get done: constantly reworking.