When Things Don’t Go As Planned

Ever had a day when all the primary thing you were planning to do wasn’t going to happen?

There could be any number of reasons why. Perhaps someone you were counting on for their part didn’t come through. Perhaps you hit a wall and were stumped. Perhaps there was a technological failure. Perhaps it was… (you supply the rest.)

Whatever the reason for it, what did you do next?

For many people, it simple becomes a major frustration as they can no longer do what they planned to do. And they are basically ruined for the day. For another large group of people, it becomes an opportunity to blow off the day and take an unplanned vacation day (whether they ever leave work or not.)

But for some, it is simply business as usual and they switch gears to the next thing on their list. They consult their list and pick the next thing to work on until they can go back to the original plan.

A few really enlightened people figure out ways to gain mileage out of the situation. (Perhaps they work on things that will need to be done after the primary activity is completed and the end product is ready.) After all, there is always something to be done next… and very few activities are truly on the critical path.

(Critical path – the tasks that must be completed in order… one after another… and the project can’t be any shorter than the length of those tasks.)

Your tip for the week? Make sure you have several things on your list that are important – but not urgent – that you can do when your primary task is stymied (for whatever reason.) Then switch to one of those until you can get back on your primary task. (Tomorrow or next week that alternate task may well be the primary one so you didn’t waste your time, but got a head start on it.)

Do you have a special technique that you use when you get stymied? Share it with us so we can have it in our toolkit, too.

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