Thursday, October 15, 2015

3 Keys Thursday: Managing a Day that Doesn't Go According to Plan

Yesterday was one of those days. I started with a list (part of which, quite honestly, carried over from the day before), and it seemed reasonable at the time. I'd added one item I was less-than-thrilled about (time wise) to my schedule, but that didn't seem to be too big a deal.

And then reality set in.

Fortunately, nothing awful happened, and in more than one case, I was right where I should have been exactly when I should have been there -- and in a totally unplanned fashion.

Unfortunately, yesterday's blog post was late, and by the time we sat down to dinner (after 7 pm), very little had been checked off my to-do list. I was quickly growing grouchy.

Throughout the day, I tried to remind myself:

  • What matters most. Yes, not getting through my list was frustrating. But the things I was doing instead involved making inroads with people. Meeting with students. Swapping stories and strategies with another instructor. Spending unexpected time with my daughter. Any one of these things is a good thing, and together, they were a worthwhile way to spend my time.
  • Worrying and stressing solves nothing. My main unplanned trip for the day involved going somewhere out of my usual realm of travel. My route-planning skills being what they are, I chose a route that was more circuitous than necessary, then white-knuckled it for most of the ride there. No matter how pale my knuckles got, it didn't get me there any faster, nor did it make the trip more pleasant.
  • A sense of humor is both essential and priceless. We opted for a different route home (for obvious reasons) and just as I got in the lane to pull onto the main road, we heard about an accident -- you guessed it -- right where we were headed. All we could do, despite the unpredictable and sometimes unpleasant, afternoon was laugh.
Note that I said that I tried to remind myself of these things. As the day wore on (and the hours to accomplish things grew shorter), I was reminded that knowing these things and using them to offset my frustration are two different things. Sometimes, just knowing them is enough.

Other times, you have to write a blog post.
Photo: Dodgerton Skillhause via Morguefile

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