This is Part 3 of the lump saga. If you missed the first two, feel free to take a peek:
Time management tip – What happens when the unexpected occurs?
I was still sitting in the examining room when our conference call was supposed to start.
She carried on with the meeting as she’d planned, but without my presence. The individual who needed to leave, left – after sharing her thoughts with the other two and presenting the two questions she’d like them to ask me. I was able to get out of the examining room and call her with about five minutes left in the original time slot we’d blocked out. The remaining person in her office had his Q&A time with me, and then she stayed on the line for 10 minutes longer to summarize the logistics they’d decided upon. In the end, instead of having three people inconvenienced, only one was, and she’d been prepared for it.
I apologized in each email I’d sent during this situation, at the beginning of the call and at the end of the call. It wasn’t long and drawn out (because that would cause her to lose more time!), but said with the true regret I felt: “I’m very sorry for any inconvenience I’ve caused. Please know how much I respect you and your time. Thank you for working with me on this.”
At the end of our call, she said, “Please don’t worry. You need to focus on your health.” She even agreed to add a purchase of 300 of my books to her contract with me.
I love working with understanding people!
What probably helped is that I’d hit or been early for all of my previous deadlines and had met or exceeded her expectations. Had I disappointed her along the way, she most likely would not have been as forgiving.
Time management tip – What I did with my schedule
By operating in time blocks for both appointments and task time, along with “extra padding” in between, I was able to do some flip flopping. Whatever I’d previously scheduled during the time I spent at urgent care and the time I spent getting a sonogram had to be moved. The time blocks for the lower priority tasks were shifted to two days later. After my sonogram, I dove into the higher priorities – not in a panic, but definitely with even more focus than usual. Everything that truly needed to get done that day got done.
Time management tip – How to adjust your schedule when the unexpected occurs
So to recap the three posts:
- Allow gaps in your schedule so that you have time for “fires” or opportunities.
- Know what your top three priorities are for the day, so you know what to focus on should anything crazy happen.
- If possible, schedule your “fire” for a time that suits you.
- Readjust your time blocks for appointments and task time as necessary, and based on your top priorities.
What steps will you take to not let the unexpected ruin your day?
For more productivity tools and tips from time management keynote speaker Helene Segura, click here.