Step 1: Know yourself
Before I go any further, it's critical that you understand what you do when unexpected happens. If you do not know how you handle change, I strongly recommend Kolbe Assessment for you. Kolbe measures your natural strengths, instincts that kick in when unexpected happens or when you approach a new challenge or situation.
It's also important to know your values, your priorities and set your boundaries. This will help you make wiser choices even in the middle of unexpected challenges.
Once you understand what you do in such situations, what are your values and priorities, it's easier to continue the process and come up with plan that will work for YOU.
Step 2: Have and follow an emergency plan
If you do not have an emergency plan yet, there are two ways how to create it:
Write down what can possibly go wrong with a specific project or what went wrong in the past. Then come up with the best solution how you can approach the situation next time it happens. You might even do some research on what worked for others who deal with similar situation. This is a wonderful exercise for you if you resist the change and all you can think of are the negatives, why NOT to do or change something. You would do this before you start a project.
Start from ground zero. Every time a situation comes up and you're facing an unexpected, take time to write it down and figure out the best possible solution if similar situation arises again in the future. This will work for you especially if you are natural risk taker and jumping into new projects is a second nature for you. You would do this during or after you start a project.
The important part at this stage is to FOLLOW your plan.
Who needs to know that your website is down? Contact that person!
Who can you call when your child is sick? Call them to come over.
Who can help you reschedule your client appointment if you just had power outage and no access to the internet? Have them on speed dial !!! (TIP: Remember to have your client contact information stored somewhere that's accessible for that person.)
Where can you find a new assistant when your existing one quit without notice? Do not delay and hope for your assistant to change your mind, find a new one right away.
This list could go on and on, I just wanted to get you started. What other challenges have you experienced in your business, work or life? How about family?
Just a quick bonus tip before I move to the next step. One of my favorite strategies when the power outage happens (It proved super helpful during power outage here in GTA = Greater Toronto Area this winter), is to charge my cell phone in a car. I keep a car charger in my car at all times. My iPhone allows me to stay connected to the outside word not just through phone calls and text, but also over the Internet. Super helpful, especially if you run business online!
Step 3: Give yourself a break
There are times when there's nothing you can do. Get over that desire to please everyone! Give yourself permission to take time off when your child needs to see a doctor or you need to stay in bed.
Always try your best, but if there's nothing you can do, do nothing. ~ Silvia Pencak