I wasn’t going to be writing about this today but let’s just say that life has a way of sweeping you along sometimes and this feels fitting right now.
It’s super easy to float through a period of time and have the usual ‘stuff’ happening but nothing too dramatic, nothing that can’t be stepped around or glossed over and normal service resumes.
Then there are times, which nothing can prepare you for, when something happens that you were not expecting and which knocks you off your feet.
In most cases, because we were not expecting it, we were also not prepared for it and if we don’t have anything in place to make these situations easier it really can add lots of extra stress and overwhelm.
So, what can we do to prepare for the unexpected? We can plan for it.
You know I love a plan, but for years I didn’t have anything in place to help me keep my business at least ticking over if there was an event that meant I had to suddenly drop tools and leave. But I began delegating and growing a small team back in 2012 and it has been a lifesaver on many occasions.
No more so than when I got the phone call about my dad – it was amazing to be able to literally drop everything and fall off the radar of the world within an hour.
- Autoresponder and voicemail updated – done.
- Artwork files saved to the cloud so Susana could access them all – done.
- Call answering service activated – done.
For me they were the big 3 that covered most of the bases I needed to get me through.
The autoresponder and voicemail were there to manage expectations. Anyone who contacted me would instantly know that all was not as normal (without knowing the details) and what the options were so they were able to still have what they needed done and also were able to give me the space I needed.
As a design and print business you never know when a client will contact you to get a job done and knowing that Susana could hold the fort with any design edits or new work meant I didn’t have to worry at all about dropping the work ball and letting clients down. They would be looked after and it was a big stress off my shoulders.
Call answering meant that if someone did call they would be told by a real human being that I was unavailable for an undefined period of time but that there were options; to email me or Susana or to wait for my return.
I literally disappeared from my work for 3 weeks and when I came back things were OK.
Of course, if you have a team this is all sorted already, but if you’re flying solo and working from home the likelihood is that if you had an hours notice to have to drop everything, if this sort of stuff is not ready for you to action at a moments notice, you would probably have a load of extra stress that you don’t need at a time like that.
My little challenge for you this week is to check your emergency plan:
- What would happen if you had to drop everything right now?
- What would you need in place?
- How can you set it up so this is ready to go at will?
- What else would you need to have in place?
Why not create a little checklist that you could use – those sorts of times tend to wipe out your brain cells so you will thank yourself if you have a simple to follow plan already set up you can follow.
Another good thing to do is to have an emergency plan for your loved ones just in case something happens to you too. This one is more complicated and needs more consideration but should definitely be on your to do list to get done.
This all sounds a little dramatic for a Monday morning but it’s way more dramatic if something happens and you’ve not got anything prepared.
Wishing you an undramatic and uneventful week ahead.