Are Setbacks Ruining Your (Productive) Day?

I read a great article in the March issue of Real Simple magazine that I had to share.  It’s a regular feature where five people offer advice on one topic.   This article, “5 ways to keep one bad thing from ruining your day” has great advice for life, but it resonated with me when it comes to productivity, being organized and time/self-management.  When I work with clients and we’re working on physical spaces, we are also working on creating good habits and systems, talking about best practices and how to better manage it all.  Yes, these things are key to being/staying organized!

Without deeply exploring time-management and productivity right now, I want to share this article because it’s the minor setbacks in our days that are the enemy of our own time-management and productivity.  Here is a link to the whole article, but I have copied below Ari Fleischer’s advice as even just this small change in your thinking and planning will have a positive impact on your day.

“Expect the Worst

When I was at the White House, I used to tell myself that if every day is a crisis, there’s no such thing as a crisis. Crises are routine. The trick is to anticipate them. Expect that on any given day, something unexpected will happen. Then it won’t rattle you, and you can stay calm as you deal with it. It also helps if you build a little fluff time into your schedule. I can herd the cats (or, er, my kids) more easily when there’s just enough fudge time to allow for the inevitable missing coat or backpack. If you schedule everything down to the last minute, any little snafu can really set you off.”

Ari Fleischer was the White House press secretary for President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2003. He heads Ari Fleischer Sports Communications, in New York City.

 You certainly don’t have to “expect the worst,” but you do need to anticipate that something will come up….it always does.  And even if you’re not a highly scheduled person you can still mentally allow for these kinks in your day so they are not a crisis when they arise.  (You can also make a note of the common kinks and then make plans on how to avoid them in the future — backpacks on hooks by the door, for example.)

Think of how much better your mood and stress level will be if you get ready to leave 4 minutes earlier instead of “WE NEED TO LEAVE NOW!!!”  The key is always preparation and we need to prep for what we know and be prepared to handle what comes up along the way.

Happy Organizing!


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