Recently I had one of those weeks when one thing after another came along, disrupting my best laid plans for time management.
It started at 6:30 AM on Sunday when my son’s cat needed to go to the vet. He wasn’t breathing well. “The Plan” for the day suddenly shifted. Under the stress, there were votes to cancel a long planned family visit to a friend’s country home. We were all disappointed.
Once the cat was deemed stable, I rallied everyone to continue with the trip—just at a later start time. That mental flexibility (on my part) led to a delightful afternoon and evening.
However, as the week progressed, other curves came my way. Amongst them, a number of clients canceled for a whole variety of reasons. I suddenly had lots of “free time” but my focus was disrupted as my executive functioning skills became dominated by the emotion of anxiety. I have bills to pay! Rather than working on projects I found that I was “escaping” by taking naps. I was slipping into feeling bleak.
Fortunately my self-awareness motivated me to take little steps I could take since I wasn’t up to work on the projects that required strong creative thinking. I reorganized my file drawers and set up some paper management/data systems that really needed doing for some time. I cleaned out unused materials from my office. I finally ordered some business notecards and made the decision to order a new printing of my workbooks.
Nevertheless, at the end of the week I was still beating myself up for not “being productive” because I hadn’t accomplished any “big” project goals I might have done in that open time. Thankfully my wise mastermind coach helped me see what I had actually done— quite a bit really.
So when life gets tweaky, don’t toss in the towel and hide. Look about and do some of those simple things that you’ve been meaning to do for a long time. Adjust your to do list to do things you have the mental energy or time to accomplish.
Make different choices but don’t give up on your time management and productivity! Celebrate what you can accomplish. The next week will be (and mine was) more typical.
Marydee Sklar is the president of Executive Functioning Success and the creator of the Seeing My Time Program®. She is an educator and author of three books on executive functions, as well as a trainer and speaker. Marydee has more than twenty-five years of experience working with students and adults with executive function challenges.