We’ve had a home in the mountains for quite some time. We get a lot of snow. We are prepared for a lot of snow. We knew the risks of snow inconvenience when we built our home. We accepted and embraced the risk. As a general rule, the snow has not affected us.
Well, the last few days have proven an exception to the rule. Over 30″ of snow in the last couple of days. Yikes! A major highway was closed for an extended period of time. This resulted in my not being able to maintain commitments I’d made to family, clients, and colleagues.
I had a decision to make: How was I going to let this affect me?
- Release the stress associated with the change in schedule. It’s easy to get twisted up about having to adjust your schedule. If you couldn’t control it, acknowledge that fact and let the stress associated with the unexpected inconvenience go.
- Analyze the “why” behind the schedule shift. Could you change it? If not, let it go. If you could have changed the path that resulted in the schedule shift, what could you have done differently? Learn from the event.
- What’s the next step?
- Communicate as quickly as possible to let people know you will not be able to honor your commitment.
- If necessary and possible, reschedule commitments.
- Make the most of the newly-found home/office time:
- Get some work done (clean up your e-mail, de-clutter your office/junk drawer, update your contacts list, etc.)
- Enjoy the unexpected time with friends and family.
- Do the reading you’ve not previously made time for.
- Give a family member or friend an unexpected call.
- Write a blog post about flexibility around unexpected events. 🙂
- Lastly, figure out what is to be learned from this experience. I learned that I need to update my electronic contacts lists so I could contact my clients and colleagues more easily from any location. A small, but powerful, learning experience.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and my processes over the last couple of days. What can you learn when the world throws you a curve ball?
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