You are a busy working Mom, an entrepreneur or high achieving professional woman. You have a life. And guess what? That life is going to happen.
You would probably love nothing more than to be able to control all of it. I know, I’m with you. But you also know that this just isn’t realistic. So, what do you do when LIFE HAPPENS –
the kids get sick,
there’s a snow day at school,
your husband is running late and can’t do the soccer or ballet pick up,
people NEED you for stuff that was not in your plan?
The goal is not to learn how to plan in a vacuum. The goal is to become a RESILIENT planner and time management ninjas, in spite of all that life will hand you.
This starts with your mindset. There is a shift in how you think about your time that makes all the difference. And this shift is from “I don’t have enough time” to “There is plenty of time for WHO and WHAT matters most.” And this is where priorities come into play.
The second piece of handling the unexpected is DECIDING YES OR NO. Priorities make the decision of whether to say YES or NO to this unexpected thing easy. If you have your priorities top of mind when the unexpected happens, you don’t have to spin out thinking that you can’t get it all done or you don’t know what to do and waste emotional energy in the overwhelm and frustration of not getting to follow your plan.
Instead, you get to look at your priorities and ask yourself if this unexpected thing is something you want to spend your time on – is it one of your top 5 priorities? If yes, then do it. I would offer that this is what it looks like for you to get it all done because you are taking care of things that are your highest priority. And sometimes this means taking the day off to hang out with a sick kiddo. Productivity and getting it all done is not delegated just to your work life. It takes into account your entire life and your priorities. If this thing is not in your top 5 priorities, you can just say no. Saying No is hard but it is one of the skills that can skyrocket your productivity and save so much time.
When you truly believe that you have plenty of time for WHO and WHAT matters most, the Yes or No is obvious.
The last step in handling the unexpected is to set up a protocol for the most common unexpected events in your life. Review your last 6 months. What things came up in your life that you didn’t expect or plan for? (As a side note, this is a great exercise to look at the math of the unexpected. Were there really that many things or is it just drama your brain is creating to keep you from making a plan? The math will reveal this answer to you.). Are these things you didn’t plan for one time things or are they situations that are likely to be repeated?
One of your kids probably got sick unexpectedly. And this is likely to happen again. So, what is your protocol for handling it? Maybe you ask your husband to stay home, maybe you have a back up babysitter or nanny, maybe you work from home that day and schedule one or two priority things to complete while your sick kiddo is napping. The lesson here is that you GET TO DECIDE. And you can decide right now so that you don’t have to waste time in decision making mode when this thing does happen.
Deciding ahead of time is your best plan for your highest levels of productivity. The next best plan is to be resilient in managing the things you didn’t plan for or expect.
Planning and productivity are the gatekeepers to freedom. The more masterful you get at these skills, the more freedom you will create in your life.
If you are ready for some more help with planning and productivity – how to schedule your work life so that you get to live the rest of your life exactly as you want, I’m your girl. And I have tons more great resources for you to get started on this. All you need to do is join my Facebook Group, “How To Get It All Done” by CLICKING HERE. See you in there!