How often does some disaster interrupt you’re carefully planned writing day? In my case it’s a tech disaster of some sort that throws a monkey wrench into my plans about once a month.
An example happened yesterday. A special newsletter email mailing went out after testing, and on schedule. I was feeling smart and loving technology… until someone I trust emailed me saying the links in the newsletter didn’t work! Exactly the kind of event that meant I had to drop everything and solve that because I’d already been paid for the announcement.
It took about an hour and a half with the client and with my autoresponder to come up with and execute a solution that worked.
My coach’s solution
Some of you know I work with executive coach, Mark Boersma. He’s big on blocking out time for various business related work. And I had been working in the time block for writing projects when I got word of the failure.
During a MasterMind call (ask me if you’re curious) I asked him how to handle stuff that had to be done but since I had no way of knowing when they would occur, how to make that fit with time blocking.
He suggested that since I seem to know I’ll have tech disasters of some sort about once a month that generally take two hours or so to handle, I assign a block of that time every month somewhere where it wasn’t overlapping anything else. In my case Friday afternoons after 3 pm seems to be a good slot.
With that assigned, when the next disaster happens all I have to do is switch the time blocks!
The most important take away
For me the most important take away from his suggestion is to allow for interruptions, family emergencies, tech problems – whatever. They happen to all of us – some more than others. By creating a switchable time block for them, the panic lessens, or maybe doesn’t happen at all.
He also mentioned that some people have more of these emergencies than other – some many more. If I’m having too many, he suggested, I should look more deeply at what I’m doing and attracting. How many is too many? Some of that has to do with life stages – I had more drama like this when my kids were little. Now that they’re grown, I have way less.
Right now in addition to tracking money, and some time, I’m going to track my disasters and emergencies – just so I know I’m not lying to myself. I use Toggl.com to track time – no reason I can’t add an emergency project and track those too. I’ll let you know the results.
Does planing for disasters sound like it will work for you too?
Write well and often,