The common reaction is to get frustrated, throw up your hands and count the day as lost; to think about all the things you needed to get done but weren't able to because of whatever came up and stole that time. It's also easy to start pointing fingers. However, none of these reactions are going to do anything to improve your results or change the situation. In fact, all it does is increase your stress and frustration. So, since we know it will happen, what can we do to be prepared for it when it does, and how should be respond?
- Don't Overschedule Your Day - I'm certainly not advocating giving less than your best effort, but one of the ways to minimize the possibility, or at least the impact, of something not going exactly as planned is to have some flexibility in your day. If every single minute is planned out and needs to be 100% productive on specifically set tasks, that leaves no room for the dynamics of life and business. Leave some margin in your day to deal with any necessary changes in focus or direction.
- When Something Does Interrupt or Change Your Day, Deal With It - Ignoring it won't make it go away. If you need to change your focus for a minute, or your schedule changed because of something out of your control (or even something in your control), accept it and deal with it.
- Don't Stress - Stressing out about it won't help make the situation better. It will only make you more frustrated and less effective in getting the rest of your day finished out on the right track.
- Learn From It - What could you do in the future to avoid a similar situation from happening? Could you be better prepared or pay more attention to detail to avoid a mistake that cost you time? Could you reprioritize your schedule to make more sense with the natural flow of your day? Figure out what changes or adjustments you can make to lower the chances of a similar interruption in the future.