When You Get Derailed

Train Tracks

How do you handle it when your plans get derailed?  Things come up that are beyond our control that can completely disrupt our plan for the day/week.  Do you just roll with it and figure that you will get back on track sooner or later?  Do you worry about all the things that you aren’t getting done?  Do you come to a complete stop while you figure out how to proceed?  Do you deal with the situation and make a plan to get back on track as quickly as possible?  All of these are normal responses to those unexpected disruptions that happen.  Here are some tips for getting back on track as quickly as possible.

  1. Get rest.  A good night’s sleep is a huge factor in how productive we are, so get the rest you need so you have the energy to handle what is in front of you.
  2. Accept the unexpected.  Sometimes all we can do is take what life hands us, so accept what just came your way and deal with it appropriately.
  3. Let people know what’s happened.   If you are going to be late on something that is owed to someone else, let them know what’s going on with you.  People will work with you if they know something has happened.
  4. Ask for help.  Delegate if you can and ask others to give you a hand to get through the unexpected issue.
  5. Reevaluate your to-do list.  Take a few minutes and look at what you had planned and add what now needs to be done.  Figure out what can be moved, delegated and must be done immediately.
  6. Give up perfection.  Recognize that you are not going to get it all done and tell yourself that it’s okay.

If you can stop and recognize that unexpected things happen, it is easier to get a handle on the impact it will have on your world.  Unfortunately we can’t control every aspect of every day so it’s important to learn how to react to the curve balls that come our way.  A key is to focus on what needs to be done, what can realistically be done and to get help from others.   This will happen to everyone at some point or another so accepting that you are dealing with more than you planned on will help you stop and find a way to get back on track.  When you get derailed by events, stop, focus, and make a plan to recover.  You will feel more in control of your world and that will help you handle the situation.

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