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Creating a schedule is great! But what about when life happens?

Sometimes despite our best attempts at creating a schedule and getting organized, life gets in the way. This is when it is time to just bite the lemon…

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” Oscar Wilde

Okay – so you’ve been successful at creating a schedule. You wrote it all out and you felt good – empowered even – because you had a plan.

Then, suddenly, you receive a call that you need to pick up your child at school because they have lice or your best friend just totaled your car. Perhaps your boss asked you to stay late all week because of a project.

Suddenly, all of your preparation has gone out the window. Instead of getting everything done as you had planned, you immediately feel deflated because yet again, something has usurped your schedule.

All your effort and gratification at creating a schedule disappears in an instant…

If you think you are the only person life happens to – think again!

Life happens to everyone 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.

In my upcoming book, Bite the Lemon™, I introduce Lemon Biters. These are people who manage to deal with crisis and come out on the other side even better than they were before.

Lemon Biters are able to dig in and get things that occur when life happens dealt with before they take on a scope and magnitude that becomes overwhelming.

On the other hand, the average person tends to procrastinate when their efforts at creating a schedule are thwarted. Or even worse, many exaggerate the propensity of an event, to the point where the proverbial molehill becomes the mountain.

With this in mind – here are four 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.

be a lemon biter when creating a schedule goes out the window

1. What Can I Do Right Now?

Lets say you did receive the head lice call. You are upset, and perhaps a little angry. 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 en route. 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. How Important Is This Right Now?

So an event has happened and it demands your attention right away. 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 important versus getting your nails done or your roots touched up. Anything that helps us create a better overall life – create a more balanced life and more successful life – is highly important. Some of the other things go down the list when an event happens.

Lemon Biters are able to very quickly gauge what is important right at that moment. They can go down their schedule and delete anything that is not essential with ferocious precision.

3. How Much Time 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 one 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 any crisis requires. 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.

4. What Can I Move?

The average person tends to just drop everything at the hint of the tiniest life event whereas a Lemon Biter looks at their schedule and identifies what can be moved.

Communicating with people, without sharing your drama, is essential. Say something like, “Bob, you are important to me. Something just came up that requires my attention. Can we re-schedule for tomorrow at the same time?”

Productive people understand that life happens and are often very gracious when given enough notice. As soon as something comes up ask yourself – what can I move? Then begin communicating right away.

Lastly, know that no matter what – no matter how great you were at creating a schedule – things often do come up.

Use these Lemon Biting strategies and let me know how they work for you. I invite you to visit my Facebook Fanpage – and share how you are biting your own lemons.


Susan is a balanced living expert. She is an author, speaker and self made millionaire. She has appeared on ABC Family, the CBN, written for Dianne Magazine, Oxygen Australia and many more. Susan dedicates time to philanthropy and projects that benefit women and girls all over the world. She is married to her best friend, Chris, and together they have five beautiful children.


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