How to get back on track after a screw-up

Have you ever wished that you knew how to get back on track faster? Maybe something like this has happened to you….

Have you ever thought that you knew what you were doing, and then it turns out you actually made a big boo-boo? Yup, that’s what happened over here. We thought a correct switch got flipped within our email and sign-up system, but – alas – it was not correct.

We were worried about how to get it fixed without sending out an errant email to everyone in the system. Since I help people with email management and prevention, the last thing that I wanted to do was to add an unnecessary email to people’s inboxes! Oy vey! What were we going to do?

How to get back on track

If you’re ever in a situation in which something has gone wrong, the first thing you need to do is vent for a few minutes. We’re human. We need to let that frustration or anger or displeasure out of our system. But then pause to figure out:

1) How do things need to be?

We needed to get a set of welcome messages switched from inactive back to active.

2) What steps can be taken to get there?

Well, we could’ve just flipped the switch back to active right then and there, but we were worried about bothering thousands of people with an extra email. We needed to contact customer support to find out what our options were.

3) How painful will those steps be to anyone involved?

Calling any type of customer support is usually a pain in the patootie because either you have to wait on hold forever, or the support is given by someone who doesn’t fully understand English, or both. We were also afraid that the annoyance of an extra email might cause a mass un-subscribe exodus. But in the end, something else that we considered is that in the grand scheme of all the problems in the world, how big of a deal was this anyway? That mindset really brought down the stress levels.

4) Will the benefits outweigh the pain?

The benefit of getting the switch flipped back would save time because otherwise we’d have to create a new sign up form and do a few other technical back-end maneuvers. If the errant email went out, those folks would receive a duplicate email which contains time management and productivity resources.

I decided that the benefit of receiving helpful resources would outweigh the pain of getting one more email, so I figured that the mass exodus would be unlikely. To make sure we weren’t missing any other possibilities, we bit the bullet and called customer service. They looked at all of the angles and advised us on next steps.

By pausing to analyze the situation and seek help when we didn’t know all of the angles, we were able to get back on track.

In chapter 35 of my book, The Inefficiency Assassin, I discuss how to get back on track when things go wrong. If you need more guidance on how to get back on track faster (especially in a much more critical situation), check out chapter 35, “When Crap Happens, I Go into a Tailspin,” in either my book, The Inefficiency Assassin, or in my Time Management Foundation (on-demand). Get back on track faster!

About Helene Segura, M.A. Ed., CPO®

As The Inefficiency Assassin™, Time Management Fixer Helene Segura empowers professionals on the go with the tools to slay lost time. Personal inefficiency at work leads to increased stress levels, lower morale, higher absenteeism, more turnover – and rising spending on employee health care and hiring. Why not improve productivity, decrease stress levels, and increase profits instead?The author of four books – two of which were Amazon best-sellers – Helene Segura has been the featured organization expert in more than 200 media interviews. She has coached hundreds of clients to productivity success and performance improvement by applying neuroscience and behavioral modification techniques to wipe out destructive, time-wasting habits.Helene turns time management on its head by sharing both client case studies and pop culture examples to teach her mind-bending framework for decreasing interruptions, distractions and procrastination so that companies can spend more time generating revenue.

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