Overcoming obstacles isn’t always the easiest thing to do or deal with in this life. Time management often flies out the window at the worst time.
Okay – so you created a schedule, you wrote it all out, you felt good – empowered even – because you had a plan. Then, out of the blue, you received a call that you had to pick up your child at school because they had lice, or your best friend just totaled your car, or perhaps your boss asked you to stay late all week because of a project. Suddenly, all of your preparation – all your time management – has been undermined. Instead of getting everything done as you had planned, you immediately feel deflated because yet again, something has usurped your schedule.
This is life and this is when you must must become a master of overcoming challenges that might take others down…
If you think that you are the only person this happens to – think again! Life happens and it is necessary to understand that the most productive people on the planet still manage to accomplish the actions that propel them toward their dreams even in the midst of what feels like chaos.
Lemon Biters, who I define as people who manage to deal with crisis and come out on the other side even better than before, are able to dig in and get things dealt with before they take on a scope and magnitude that becomes overwhelming; whereas, the average person tends to procrastinate, or even worse, exaggerate the propensity of an event to the point where the proverbial molehill becomes the mountain.
With this in mind – here are three key questions that Lemon Biters ask themselves. It is my hope for you that you lead a productive, fulfilling life and that these strategies can assist you in managing to get things done even when life is going on. Sometimes giving up might seem like the easiest option. However, the better option is biting the lemon and finding a way to make the best of a situation.
1. What Can Be Done Right Now?
Let’s say that you did receive the head lice call from your child’s school. You are upset and perhaps a little frustrated. Who infected my child? Who was irresponsible? These are things you want to yell at the top of your lungs as your mind goes through the list of all of the things you have to do – check everyone’s head, clean the sheets, pick out the nits, etc. You could ruminate over all of this on the fifteen minute drive to school or you could take a breath and make a couple of business calls while on the way. The Lemon Biter always asks – what can I do right now?
You could make a call and say something like this, ‘Jane, hi, listen I only have a minute right now; however, I was wondering if you could chat at 9:00 p.m. tonight. I am working on a project and would love to run some things by you.’ You know that by 9:00 p.m. the average person would be tucking into a bottle of Merlot after ‘licegate.’ The Lemon Biter would have put the kids to bed and gone back into production mode, knowing that by creating extra income there is an ability to hire someone else to deal with the lice – yes, there are services that will come and sanitize everything for a fee – a beautiful thing.
2. Does This Require Immediate Attention?
So an event has happened and it demands your attention right away. Your best time management skills are needed at this moment. Look at what you have scheduled and ask yourself – how important is this right now? For example, if one of your scheduled items was connecting with a potential client, then that is more important than getting your nails done or your roots touched up. Anything that helps us create a better overall life is highly important. Some things must be put on the back burner when an event happens.
Lemon Biters are able to very quickly gauge what is important right at that moment and set priorities. They can go down their schedule and delete anything that is not essential with ferocious precision.
3. How Long Will This Take?
All crises require time. Time is the one universal commodity. A child who has forgotten their lunch at home and wants you to bring it only requires a small amount of time to deal with. Calls can be made to and from the school. Getting diagnosed with a serious disease is more time consuming; however, from experience I will attest that about 99% of that time is spent worrying about the outcome as opposed to taking action.
Lemon Biters are excellent judges of time. They know very quickly how much time a crisis requires and how to best manage that time. They do not waste time in uncertainty and very quickly search for the solution that is the most effective in terms of solving the problem with the least amount of time.
Susan Sly is a best selling author, work life balance expert, speaker and entrepreneur. She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime Television and the CBN. Susan is the mother of five children and resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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