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Overbooking and Procrastination-Sound Familiar?

A Positive Presence

These two words really resonated with me this week. When the week began on Monday, I had my whole schedule planned out, in nice chunks of time, so I could get everything done that needed to be completed. This was a particularly busy week for me with two major presentations that I had not even started and I had meetings planned every night of the week.

As the universe would have it, all of the planning that I did, went out the window, on Monday evening when I ended up in the hospital Emergency Room (this was not in my plan). As I sat there in the waiting area, I contemplated all that I had to do and what I was going to accomplish this evening. My whole night had been planned to get a lot done. I was right in the groove of writing the first presentation when my daughter texted me and told me she had to go to the hospital. BAM….shut down everything and go.

On the way there, I thought, what is the message I am supposed to be getting out of this? A little voice said, “overbooking and procrastination”, two things that I struggle with. In overbooking myself, there is never time for unplanned events like this one. When waiting until the last minute to complete things, there really is no time for life’s unexpected interruptions especially, when you have a deadline. So, it is in times like this that I re-evaluate my priorities.

I knew I needed to get things done, but none of that mattered at this moment. I told myself, I am experienced enough and know my presentation subjects fairly well, that if I had to “wing” it I could. If I didn’t attend that networking meeting on Thursday, so be it.

I get wrapped up in the “busy” stuff and until something comes along that makes me stop and think about what is really important; family, friends, faith, pets, etc., I cruise along at high speed, oblivious to the world around me. I take for granted that everything will get done and all will be well. It would be nice if it didn’t take a trip to the Emergency Room for me to realize that, it all doesn’t have to get done. Not everything is a priority.

When life’s interruptions are thrown in your path, do not dowse out the flames without first examining the lesson. Prepare yourself for the next surprise by learning something from it.

It’s now Friday and looking back on the week, I learned several things:

  • Add some flexibility into my schedule, don’t overbook my calendar
  • Don’t panic when things don’t work out as planned, re-group and prioritize what is really important, and get rid of the things that just don’t really need to be done
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff-I didn’t really have to attend that networking meeting or go to that association meeting. (I don’t mean shrug your responsibilities, but when it doesn’t serve your life or your business, it probably isn’t that important)
  • Work in small increments of time, rather than scheduling the whole day for one task
  • When I put my mind to accomplishing something I can do it
  • Plan some time in my schedule to be with my family. If it’s not in the calendar it probably won’t get done.
    You will be happy to know that all turned out well, my daughter is home, I did my presentations, they went really well and I learned some valuable lessons. What more could I want from a week!

Carol Hatton-Holmes

Carol Hatton-Holmes is the President of A Positive Presence. After a successful career in sales and marketing, Carol launched her company, A Positive Presence to assist individuals and corporations that struggle with business etiquette issues; intergenerational communications, image, presence, confidence, social media manners , dining etiquette and business social etiquette. www.apositivepresence.com

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