What to Do When Days Don't Go As Planned
Updated: Sep 17, 2020
Seconds and Cents, Episode 28. Today we're going to talk about how I adjust my day when it's not going according to the plan. So right now it's 11:26am. Last night, I spent about 90 minutes awake in the middle of the night between 230 and four. I was just absolutely furious about it. And what I thought was going to be today what I had kind of mentally mapped out last night was going to be today is now no longer going to be today because I didn't sleep well.
And I'm not in the right headspace today to do some of the things that I was going to do. So it got me to thinking well, what, what can I do to help other bloggers solopreneurs entrepreneurs when they have something that comes in and really messes up their day, so things don't go as expected. You have bad sleep like me, you have a problem with your significant other so you have a problem in your relationship. That's
stressing you out. You did an exercise this morning. So you overslept. You didn't exercise and, and normally you do so you have foggy brain, right? You have a bad phone call with a client or you get a bad or upsetting email, something that's really disappointing to you. You just feel emotional. Maybe you are having a ton of anxiety right now or something else or just very stressed or you're sick or you're going through an injury, whatever the case may be, something happens that messes up your day that causes you to go well, oh my gosh. And now the problem that that you're facing, is that you're trying to recover the day. You're trying to not waste the day and if you don't do things the right way, you could very well waste a day. What do I mean by that? It doesn't mean that you just laid on the couch all day. You just watch Netflix all day. But what it does mean is that you answered one email and then you scroll through Twitter for 15 minutes or you did one thing you're
A five paragraph paragraphs of a blog post, and then you scroll through Instagram for 25 minutes, right? And so like you might have gotten some things done, but you didn't quite turn your brain off, you didn't quite turn your brain on. And you really weren't that productive. So what we're going to talk about today, and my hope for you is that you are able to build a formula that allows you to understand when you're going through a tail, a tail when you
know, a spiral, you're spiraling out of control
that day, because something has happened and you are trying to recover, right? And how can you get through that to make maximum impact for the rest of your week or for next week so that you don't set yourself back you actually leap farther ahead in some areas, and you allow yourself to go easy on yourself.
In other areas, so it starts by asking myself, Well, what do I do during a day? What does an average day What does a typical day look like for me, and I have a big notebook.
Big notebook. And I
write down, I write down eight or nine things that I have to do that day, but I only star three of them. Three of them are the most important things that I have to do that day. Those are the things that I do first, those are the things that require the most energy or they'll create the most value or the most intense, there is something that makes those three things different from everything else. Then the other 4567 things that are on my to do list that aren't as high priority. Those come later. Now those only come after I've done my three really important things.
Why? Because I want to make sure that
I focus on my three important things, right, I get those things done, and I do them the right way I get it done with all of my energy with all of my intensity. And then the other things that aren't as high intensity or that aren't as energy intense, I'll do later. Those are smaller things. Those are a lot of times meetings. Meeting, some meetings are in my top three most important things. Of course, I've had some meetings that totally changed the trajectory of my life. Sometimes meetings or updates, or meetings are just hearing what other people think and or I'm just sitting in meetings, and I'm just trying to understand a little bit what's going on or whatever they might be. And so sometimes meetings, high importance, sometimes meetings, low importance, but I have three things that are really important. So a day goes into a spiral. Like today because I didn't sleep well last night, right? And I didn't sleep well, last week, I was still kind of recovering from that. And so what do I do in order
to propel myself forward for the rest of the week in order to save the day for the rest. Save today
and help me for the rest of the week. Well, first, I checked my headspace. What's the thing that's bothering me most? What's the thing that's frustrating me the most that's giving me the most anxiety or that's stressing me out the most. It could be an injury right now I have a small ankle injury. I'm thinking about that every once in a while. It could be my deal flow. Last week, I was a little bit disappointed in deal flow. And so now I was thinking, well, let's let's up the ante a little bit. We're going to start to get some new people through the door. We're going to start to help some more people, right. And so I think about what what is bothering me most.
And then that's the thing that I'm going to focus on today. So inside of the things that are really stressful for me or that are anxiety inducing for me, if I'm going to be stressed about it, I might as well work on it
At least I don't get myself into this kind of spiral of kind of working myself into anxiety, or telling myself that I'm not doing well in some aspect of my life, right? And then getting more anxiety after I told myself that and then it just goes around in a circle like a tornado or like a cyclone. So that's the thing that I lean into it, actually. And so you know, every project in anybody's life has the thing that you can kind of mindlessly do. And the thing that takes all of the energy and all of the intensity, right, what I'm focusing on right now is I'm focusing on what's the thing that's providing me the most stress or the most anxiety and how can I lean into the aspects of that that I can do on little sleep? or How can I lean into the aspects of this that I can do in my current headspace?
That way, I've set myself up way better.
For the rest of the week, when I have slept better, or when I'm not upset about a call, or I'm not feeling this small ankle injury, right? And so how can I propel myself forward so that when I'm in a great headspace to do a lot of deep thinking, I can do all of my deep thinking at once instead of switching tasks, instead of doing a bunch of other stuff. So today, I'm actually I'm recording two podcasts, because I want to get my podcasts done right now.
And then I can focus on some of my really deep work later in the week, whereas Normally, I would do deep work and then a podcast right now I'm just doing two podcasts in a row. And I'm gonna do my two deep work sessions in a row later in the week. So the first day I checked my headspace Second thing, we've already kind of touched on this, but I checked my capabilities. What are the things that I can do today? Well,
so not what are the things that I can do?
I have lots of things that I need to do. We are expanding into a new customer segment. I have lots of questions to answer about that we are moving forward with a pretty intense PR strategy. There are lots of things that I could do with that. I'm not doing any of those things today. Because venturing into new frontiers, doing things that require a lot of deep work today, when I'm not running on as much sleep as I would like, especially interrupted sleep.
That's not something that I'm going to be doing. So I'm going to be doing things that I could do whether I was well rested or not well rested, right. I'm already doing things like speaking my mind and speaking freely, and helping other entrepreneurs and bloggers and solopreneurs right, doing podcasts. I'm gonna be doing blog posts. Today, I'm going to be doing some other tasks today that I just need to get done that we're going to get done in segments during the week and instead I'm going to just crush them all into one day today. And then I'll be doing my deep thinking my deep work later in the week.
So I should not be doing anything that is overly intense or overly stressful on my brain or where I'm really bending my brain and thinking about all the different angles to something that's just not something that I should be focused on at the current moment.
And so for me, what I'm really thinking about here, as I'm thinking about what how can I make up for How can I not lose a day and make up any progress that I would have made another day this week, so because I'm setting myself up for success by doing a lot of the small things by instead of chunking it out every day of the week, I'm gonna just crush it. Right crush it one day on a lot of the things that don't require an enormous amount of deep thinking that don't require my working on a new PR strategy that don't require my creating new sales funnels for new customer segments. Right? Those things
Really difficult, but I can do those later this week when I've had a bunch of sleep. So for you, what can you do to set yourself up for later in the week or for next week? When you have a day that goes into a tailspin? Right? What can you do to allow yourself to lean into stress or lean into the anxiety or lean into the tailspin? Right? Whereas instead, you might think, Oh, I need to avoid it because I can't think clearly about it. No, Instead, focus on just the things, the capabilities that you should be utilizing.
And do the thing that's providing you the stress. So if the stress is my ankle, it stretch it, walk around it, ice it, make sure I'm tending to it, because if I ignore it, the problem isn't going away. If I ignore it, I'm not making progress towards accomplishing my goals. If I lean into it, now I have more energy. I have
just more money.
confidence about the progress that I'm making. And I know when I go to sleep tonight, that it was a good day because I set myself up well for the rest of the week or for next week. So for you as an entrepreneur, as a solopreneur, as a blogger, these are things that have taken me 567 years to really kind of grasp. But when you realize that you're heading into a tailspin, that part of your day is just going to be occupied by whatever this thing is that's sitting in your mind, instead of trying to shove it out of your mind or instead of trying to just push it aside or be tough or not be weak, right? Instead, let's think well, what is my headspace right now? What is the thing that's causing the stress? What is the thing that's causing anxiety? And what are the capabilities that I should be using
in order to make progress that'll set me up well, for the rest of the week. Rome wasn't built in the day. I don't have to get everything done. Maybe I start a company
Things that we're going to be strategy oriented earlier today that we're going to be deep thinking oriented. I just cross out the stars, I put stars on some other stuff, and I put an arrow towards the next day. Because I know that if I do the thing, it's going to be deep thinking if I do the thing, like build a new PR strategy, right? Where
I really have to expand my capabilities, I really have to bend my brain to think about all the possible scenarios, there's a high likelihood I'm not going to do it. Well, I'm gonna have to go back I'm gonna have to do it again. And that's gonna be annoying. That's going to be frustrating. I don't like doing things twice. And so instead, let's do it right the first time the right way. And that requires that I have all of the energy that I can. So as an entrepreneur for you, first I would say check your headspace. Where are you? What is the stressor? What is the anxiety inducer? What is the tailspin? causer right. Second, check your capabilities. So what should I be doing? What capabilities should I be using today?
That'll allow me to set myself up well for the next for the rest of the week or for next week. And third, understand that I can make up for it understand that you can make up for it, just because you spent a whole day doing three, four or five tasks that are kind of menial, that you know, you. They're just mundane doesn't mean that you didn't make progress. It just means that you can't see that progress yet. But when you're not doing task switching when you're not, when you're not kind of going from deep work to like a menial task, right? You're gonna feel a lot better about yourself because you're able to just crush it for an entire day, and you'll make eight hours worth of progress and four.
All right, everybody, have a great day. For me. I'm going to get some sleep, and we'll chat again very soon.
The above is an AI transcription of Evan’s Seconds and Cents podcast.