Your brain, when an unexpected event pops-up:

Perfect planning hates unexpected events so your brain just panic!

Have this ever happened to you, those days that start perfectly normally and then, suddenly become a real nightmare because one unexpected event shows up and disrupt everything?

As I am writting this article, yesterday could have been such type of day.

My plan was perfect.

I had this beautifully organized agenda with all my tasks and reminders updated. I didn’t had to think of the logic behind any of that. All I needed was to follow the plan that I carefully made the day before. And I knew this would bring me the results and make me feel satisfied about my day.

But upon sitting at my desk to perform my first task, I discovered that my website had been hacked.

So I started rushing into my server, my database, checking my SEO, all my wordpress structure, etc. And I contacted some knowledgeable friends to get their insights and see if anyone could help me at least understand the problem.

But suddenly, I stopped as I began to realize that this was not part of my today’s plan at all!

Then I decided to pause for a moment and think about this event… Why would I keep rushing into solving this problem now despite I have made a perfect plan to achieve all my goals on that day. How important is it to solve my problem now compared to keep going with my usual flow?

All I knew is that I disliked that feeling of being hacked and this triggered in me the exact same feeling of being robbed at home. Someone entered my website (even if it’s a bot) and messed with my property and I felt the urge to react to it. But was it that important to solve it now? Could I actually solve it now?

The answer was clear: there was nothing I could do without the help of a specialist and worrying about my site at this moment was not helping. So I decided to stop trying to “find out” what was the problem and contacted some professionals for help.

And right after that, I decided to go on with my initial plan; my perfectly planned day.

One problem at a time.

Long story short, after a week only, this problem got solved and in the end, it didn’t damaged my site much. But the best in this story is that I managed to achieve all my goals on that day and this was the most important.

If you would have met me at the beginning of my entrepreneur’s journey, I’d probably have had a hard time to be rational in this situation. I’d probably be solving my problem on that day or get mad about it and probably loose a week of well-being into this problem.

Take aways from this story:

When something unexpected shows up; it’s very important to take some distance with that event and observe the situation. Pause for a moment and evaluate if it’s worth to rush into solving it and give up all your plans for this unexpected event. To evaluate, you may start asking yourself the following questions:

  • Can I solve it within the next hour with high chance of success and without disrupting all my plans of today?
  • How important is it compared to the tasks I have to do today?
  • What is the worst that could happen if I don’t solve this problem now?
  • How long time do I need to evaluate the situation properly and find a proper planned-rational-solution?
  • Is it really that important and or urgent?

Another take away is that entrepreneurs are solving problems on a daily basis, it’s crucial for us to be able to organise them and learn to prioritise.

To fight unexpected event, use the Eisenhower Matrix

One of the best tool available today to do this is the Eisenhower Matrix. Basically, only if it’s urgent and important, you need to take care of it now. For example, in the case of my site, it was urgent but it wasn’t important (not more important than what I had already planned).

Eisenhower Matrix how to manage your tasks priority importance nicolas thanh

Prioritizing, a solution to fight unexpected events:

So the solution was to delegate this task; and actually in my case it was the best option because these specialists were able to solve the problem faster than if I’d try by myself and in addition, they improved and optimised my site at the same time.

Lastly, it’s about planning. We spend a lot of time planning. And if you are like me, you probably are trying to optimise your planning skills so that you can stay organised, focused and efficient.

So imagine that the time you spend on “planning” includes all these hours spent thinking about how to better your plan, thinking about your goals, how to delegate, etc. And when you react to unforseen events, you basically allow this event to destroy all this work. And it can take over your attention, your time and your efficiency out of your planned tasks at that moment.

You can also practice meditation

I started to meditate everyday and this also helped me to calm down when something unexpected happens. I shared my journey in this article here

And you? How do you deal with surprising events? How do you deal with emergency?

Any other tool I could use to evaluate the priority level of an unexpected event?