We’ve all had one of those days when you’re putting out fires from the moment you walk into the office. The inbox is overflowing with demands, someone can’t meet a deadline and you already have a packed day ahead of you.
As frustrating as it is, it’s just life. There will be some days in business that are more stressful than others. The key is to not let it get to you in such a way that affects the quality of your work. Here are some ways to handle those days when you’re putting out fires.
Take it in stride.
The best way to deal with a day of putting out fires is to take it in stride. In other words, don’t let your emotions get in the way and just deal with it.
Granted, it’s easy to get frustrated in these situations. Especially when you feel like other people are dropping the ball. But, sometimes it is what it is. And, as a business owner, there will be moments where you need to step up regardless of whose fault it is.
One of the best methods I have found for coping in these situations is to remind myself that none of it will matter a year from now. Heck, it probably won’t even matter next week. This helps you calm your emotions so you can get stuff done.
After surrendering to the situation and taking it in stride it’s time to get centered. In my case, that sometimes looks like taking a fifteen-minute break so I can go meditate. This helps ground me so that I can come back to the situation at hand with a clear mind.
It’s important to be level-headed when you’re putting out fires. Again, it’s hard to do that when you walk in and the day starts with emergencies. However, clearing up the mental fog through some sort of mindfulness practice will reinvigorate you and keep you sharp.
Re-arrange your schedule.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about putting out fires is they throw a wrench into your plans. Again, you can either get frustrated about it or you can just deal with it.
In this case, that looks like shuffling some things around. For example, can something be moved to tomorrow? Or can it be pushed back to later in the day? Most importantly, you should analyze whether or not something actually is a fire.
The good news is tools like Calendar can help you re-arrange your schedule in a way that makes the most sense. The truth is priorities can change when you’re busy putting out fires, so an online calendar tool can help you re-prioritize your day and also get you set up for the next day.
Let it go.
At the end of a frustrating day, you need to just let it go. I speak to too many business owners who still carry baggage from years ago. They say some client did something to them, they were wronged somehow or they remember a really terrible day.
None of this is really very productive. What is productive is making a conscious effort at the end of a bad day to simply let it go and move on. After all, the next day will be better.