When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned
3 Tips To Help You Deal With It.
My family and I like to fish.
More accurately, some of us LOVE to fish, a couple of family members may not care for it as much.
We are also a bit competitive. Just a tiny wee bit. Again some of us more than others.
We managed to get out for 3 weekends this summer to camp and fish. My husband, 2 youngest children, and myself. We just got home from our last trip a few hours ago.
So I am totally going to take this opportunity to brag that on all 3 trips I caught the first fish! HAHA take that suckers.
This final trip of the summer came at the end of a week that didn’t go as planned at all. You see, I had booked this week off back in February sometime. My day job (and myself) requires me to have my schedule planned well in advance. Once I have clients booked it is hard to move them. So when I booked the first week of September off back in February my kids were being homeschooled, I wasn’t blogging, my garden hadn’t been planted yet, and I was planning on spending the week camping, fishing, and working in my garden. Basically, I was planning on doing a whole lot of nothing.
Fast forward 6 months, my kids are doing online synchronous learning, I am blogging, my garden is bursting at the seams, and the week I booked off probably should have been 2.
To start things off it rained, for 4 days, more rain than we have had the entire summer. Not great for getting things out of the garden.
Then, my kids had to start school in the middle of the week. My preferred camping time is in the middle of the week. Especially as homeschoolers because no one else is camping the first week of September, they are all going to school.
And then the blogging struggles, okay, this was more of a mindset issue, but regardless I did struggle. Hard.
I booked a week off so I didn’t have to work. Now I find myself with blog business stuff to get done. And absolutely no motivation to do it. UGH. Not good, this is not good, at all.
So what is one to do when things are not going according to the plan?
I use to be the type of person that would freak out when things didn’t go as planned. I mean sometimes I would really freak out.
Unexpected, last minute changes I found especially stressful.
Even little things that are not a big deal.
Driving to work, have a detour I didn’t know about beforehand, freak out.
Leaving the house on Saturday at 11 am and no one is ready to go, freak out.
Meeting Tuesday at 2 pm gets canceled last minute, freak out.
I was pretty high strung and liked things to go as planned. Why? Because I am comfortable with having a routine. Comfortable knowing what I need to do and when I need to do it. Having something unexpected happen instantly took me out of my comfort zone causing me to have a meltdown.
Fortunately, over the years, and through having to deal with actual serious issues that have derailed more than just what I had planned for the afternoon, I have learned to deal unexpected changes and to relax.
Take some deep breaths, go for a walk, cozy down with a book for half an hour. Whatever it takes. Just relax.
As soon as you start to get stressed out your body kicks into that fight/flight/freeze sympathetic nervous system response making it damn near impossible to think like a rational human being.
When you relax it is much easier for you to look at the big picture and come up with an alternate plan.
#2 Have a Contingency Plan
Now this one might be a bit more difficult. After all, we don’t always know what is going to happen. That being said there are things you can do to help you deal with certain situations.
When it comes to my blog for example:
- I have a backup copy saved so if something goes missing one day I can quickly and easily recover it
- I have pre-written articles that are pretty much ready to go if let’s say I get a stomach bug or food poisoning and don’t want to write
Having a plan in place and knowing what to do ahead of time for certain situations greatly reduces your stress. Now, this example is very basic. Right now it is just me and my laptop working away on my blog. As my business grows so will the plans I have in place to safeguard it.
Another example of a good contingency plan would be a disability or critical illness insurance policy (this link is only an example/for information, it is not an affiliate link) to cover loss of income if you get hurt or sick and are unable to work for some time. Or home insurance incase of a fire. The last thing you want to worry about in a situation like this is how you are going to pay your bills or where you will live.
If you haven’t made any contingency plans to safeguard you or your business, especially once it starts growing and making you some money you might want to talk to someone who can help you out with that. Don’t wait for something outside your control to happen before you put a plan in place. It doesn’t do you much good after the fact.
As important as having plans in place to safeguard against possible major events you can’t plan for everything thing. Sometimes when dealing with the day-to-day stuff you just have to go with the flow.
#3 Be Flexible
How do you deal with the day-to-day stuff when it doesn’t go as planned?
This was something I had to work hard at. Sometimes I still have to work hard at it. I don’t think it comes easily for some people.
There are certainly some benefits to being flexible:
- less stress
- you become better at overcoming challenges
- you get better at finding solutions faster
- unexpected outcomes could be better than you originally thought
You might not have discovered that fabulous little coffee shop if it weren’t for the detour going to work.
The meeting was canceled, now you have time to finish that project.
Leaving the house late, this one still drives me nuts but is getting better now that kids are older and I have fewer of them at home.
At the end of the day, things still get done. Maybe not exactly how you had planned but they are done. That’s what matters.
I am still learning to embrace the adventures, challenges, and learning opportunities that present themselves when life doesn’t go as planned. To find joy and growth in unplanned experiences that take me out of my comfort zone.
My kids are enjoying their new learning adventure so far. It’s been 2 days, we still have 10 months to go so we will see what they have to say about it next June. My husband and I are loving the new learning adventure, less work, and less stress for us. Again it’s been 2 days.
I am about half finished processing my garden. Actually, maybe a quarter is done. Hopefully, the frost holds off for another couple of weeks.
We survived camping September long weekend. I am sure coming home Sunday instead of the holiday Monday went a long way in ensuring the success of this. Bottom line, middle of the week, weekend, it doesn’t matter. The weather was better on the weekend anyway, we caught fish, we spent time together, we had fun.
I did not get everything done on my blog that I wanted to but I got some done, and now we are at the beginning of another week. I am over that ‘vacation’ mindset and can get to work. No more procrastinating.
My plan is not to have to book time off next year but if things don’t go quite according to my plans, I am without a doubt booking 2 weeks off!
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What tips would you like to share on building a contingency plan for your business if something unexpected happens and you can’t work for a while?