There will come a time in our lives when everything hits the fan. Most likely, it will also be at an extremely inconvenient time where you are required to meet important deadlines through it all.
I know because I just lived it.
I recently had one of the most intense weeks of my career. What was supposed to be an amazing week with the launch of the huge corporate client campaign, turned into a bit of a nightmare when everything around me kept falling apart. And I really do mean everything – from problems in my personal life to my support team being out of the office due to emergencies. I was on my own in every way during a milestone moment in my career.
I felt extremely sensitive, unsupported and overwhelmed. But it didn’t matter because I had to step up to the plate for this campaign and my business. Sometimes, as a business owner, you don’t have a choice but to stay calm and meet important deadlines even when you don’t want to.
This isn’t the first time this has happened and it won’t be the last. So, this means we need to find ways to meet important deadlines even when it seems like everything is working against us.
Set aside time to feel your feelings.
It is so easy to get overwhelmed and emotional when everything hits the fan at the same time. In the past, I would have ignored my feelings, but now I know better. Now I know I need to give myself some time to go through the motions or it will come back to bite me.
However, there is one caveat to this. Just like you can’t ignore your emotions because it will backfire, you also can’t allow your emotions to take you out completely. The happy medium I is to give yourself some designated time to feel your emotions.
There was one day where I worked 14 hours putting out fires while trying not to let my personal life get in the way of this huge moment in my career. I powered through all day, but once the work for the day was complete I allowed myself to feel all the discomfort. There was some ugly crying involved, but I felt much better afterward. This allowed me to feel better so I could meet important deadlines the next day.
Take it one task at a time.
If you see the mountain of work ahead of you when you’re already emotional, you’ll likely become paralyzed. This is the exact opposite of what you want if you plan to meet important deadlines during a tumultuous time. That’s why – as trite as it sounds – you need to create a to-do list and tackle one task at a time. Believe me, it works.
Find the lesson.
One thing that kept me sane during this difficult week was to focus on some bigger lesson I had to learn. In my case – as is the case for many Type-A business owners – it was the need to let go of the things I cannot control.
Can I control other people? No. Can I control medical emergencies? Nope. Can I control technical glitches that have nothing to do with me? Certainly not. So rather than fighting and getting overly emotional, I had to learn to accept the lesson. Once I got it, I was able to buckle down and meet deadlines for all my clients.
In the end, it was a very rough week. One that I’m glad is over. If you’re in the middle of a tough time, use these tips to help you get through it and still meet your deadlines.
Amanda is a best-selling author of "Make Money Your Honey", a book that helps freelancers and business owners understand their relationship with money and how to make it more productive. She's driven by helping others live the most productive and fruitful way possible.