Yesterday, we talked about unplanned disasters that suck the life right out of your week. Busted water heaters, client emergencies, equipment breakdowns, you name it.
One of the things I referred to yesterday was putting a schedule in place.
Iâ??ve built myself a layer of structure to force the issue for myself. As Iâ??ve mentioned previously, I schedule everything in Outlook. Phone calls, doctor appointments, teleseminars, client projects, trips to town, whatever.
First of all, it keeps me on track so I donâ??t forget anything that Iâ??ve promised someone (including myself). Second, it keeps me from overscheduling myself and makes it easy to say â??Noâ?.
Did you ever notice that if you say â??Noâ?, youâ??ll get asked again, but if you look at your calendar or PDA or DayTimer and say â??No, I just canâ??t fit that inâ?, people tend to respect that more than just a simple No? Try it some time.
Or instead of saying “No” because you don’t have your PDA/DayTimer/etc with you at the time, you might say “I’ll have to check my schedule, give me a call at the office or check with my assistant” or something along those lines.
Remember the classic Jim Rohn thing about saying No? It goes something like this: “Saying No to some things means saying Yes to others. Say Yes to the right things.”
Keeping everything in Outlook loads a nice big steaming pile of guilt on you if you get behind because you got sidetracked by something stupid (like that joke email that made you click at Snopes, which led to something else, which resulted in 90 minutes digging around at YouTube, and so on).
Why? Because you see what that just did to your schedule. Itâ??s right in front of you visually. â??Hi, Iâ??m all the stuff you didnâ??t get done today. How are you going to catch up?â? is the question Outlook loves to scream at me.
Or this week, 2 doctor appointments (1 unscheduled), a trip to Missoula, a troop campout, and a new internet provider that moves my access point from one corner of the house to the other.
This week, that last one is the gotcha. Moving the access point across the house (my office is in my home) rendered my existing hard-wired network somewhat useless until I can pull an Ethernet cable around the outside of the house, drill through the outside wall, stuff the wire through the hole, plug the hole with silicone sealer, plug the cable into the switch/router and then finally get back to work. Call me old school, but I think servers deserve hard-wired connections, not wireless.
I didnâ??t bother to mention that you canâ??t seal that hole with silicone when the temperature is cold, otherwise you might end up doing it again. Or that no one can print without taking a laptop down to the office and plugging into the switch. Much less that I do happen to have a pile of client work to do this week.
We all have our “stuff”. Structure is what keeps my days from going thermonuclear. Or at least, more of my days going there:) Give it a try.