This article continues on from the procrastination post which is all about how to plan your week so you can get stuff done (written by an excellent procrastinator).
It also marks the last day of our challenge. I hope you have gotten a lot out of the past 21 days. Learning how to do a yearly review, how to decide which projects to tackle next and how to plan out your week so you can start shipping those projects.
For today’s article I wanted to share with you some tips of what to do when all of your hard planning gets ruined by something else coming up.
Let’s start with this famous Bruce Lee quote:
Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.
– Bruce Lee
Expect stuff to get in your way
Instead of expecting stuff to all go to plan.
We plan what we are doing so that we can head towards our goal so it’s still important to have the plan even if we need to adjust it.
An archer aims at her target so she can hit it. She doesn’t simply point the arrow anywhere and hope that it hits.
If a sudden gust of wind blows as she fires and moves the arrow off target in flight, at least she came close to hitting the target. She can then aim again, taking account for the wind, and fire once more.
When something urgent comes up and you have to postpone what you are doing. Or you hit a road block on the project you are working on. That’s OK. Don’t give up, go with it and find another way.
Adjust your aim.
Sometimes you should just give up (or give in)
Contrary to my last piece of advice, sometimes a day gets so slammed with emergency tasks and events that it’s best to just throw out your original plan and flow with the day.
It will make the whole thing a much more enjoyable process than trying to fight whatever comes up. And who knows, you might get an unexpected win out of the day too.
Here’s a story of when this happened to me recently.
Ten days ago I spent the morning doing my most important task before checking my email. When I did check my email I knew my plans for the next few days where gone.
A bit of back story: My Aunt’s husband passed away a few years ago. My Mum’s side of the family is quite large and I had never had the pleasure of meeting him. The funeral was interstate so I hadn’t intended on attending it.
The email I had received though was from my Mum asking me if I could somehow make it for her.
This was at 11:30am on a Thursday, the funeral was 3:00pm on Friday and over 1,000 kms away.
I jumped online, found and booked flights (on the wrong day, but that’s another story) and made it down there. This was happening half way through our 21 day challenge and I was meant to publish the next part of that on Friday morning. I had intended writing it on Thursday afternoon which would now be spent on planes.
I didn’t want to be the a**hole doing work while I was meant to be there with my family so I decided to let it go. I was just going to have to post it a day late on Saturday afternoon.
Long story short, I was able to still get the post done at the airport thanks to booking the flight on the wrong done and then was able to just postpone everything else I had wanted to get done until the next week. Instead of spending the next 2 days half thinking about work and half being there for my family, I was able to be fully present.
The silver lining of the experience was the time I got to spend catching up with my other family that attended. Some of which I hadn’t seen in 12 years.
This is a pretty serious example but sometimes you will have a day where everything that can possibly go wrong is. These are great days to just throw in the towel and go with it.
What am I really saying?
Take the pressure off.
If you walk around all day saying to yourself ‘I have to…’ ‘I should…’ ‘I need to…’ you are going to cripple yourself with anxiety.
Break down your projects, work out what is most important this day, and then be prepared to go with the flow.
Head back to Week 3: Part B and share your plan for the rest of this week or next week.
We’re looking forward to reading them!
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