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Scheduling for The Unexpected

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What about unexpected major life switches? These are the big, unexpected moments. Some are positive, such as an upswing in business or a family member getting married, while others are major challenges, such as a tragedy or a loss of a loved one. When my father passed away, it affected everything I did for many months. Unexpected life-altering events can derail your schedule and push you out of balance. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for these switches. First, if something like this happens, simply stop. Pause. Take a moment to take in what's going on. Allow yourself to accept that this is a big event and it's going to have an impact in your life. Second, open your calendar.

Look over your time budget and consider how many weeks or months it may take until things return to normal. It's probably going to take longer than you expect, so set your mental expectations for a long-term impact. Third, budget extra time just for this event. Schedule empty buffer days, as many as you can, that are empty and just reserved for this major event. Prepare your schedule to allow yourself to catch up. This means declining other lower priority projects you previously committed to. This leads to tip four, shuffle. Shuffling means moving projects around and pushing them off. Appropriately procrastinate using the calendar. Reschedule due dates and manage others' expectations. Just give yourself extra time to get things done. Fifth, remember that there are people around you who can help. Don't be afraid to delegate or ask for assistance. And finally, follow your new schedule. You've created a strategy to deal with this major interruption. Trust it. Follow your plan and you can arrive at the other end of this life event still in balance.

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