Quick, your e-commerce website just crashed and you’re losing customers by the second. (Note: this is just an example to illustrate a point, feel free to replace this crisis with any other you might experience!)
What do you do?
That doesn’t sound like great advice…
Well, it’s not. But you’re human, so you’ll panic. Hopefully you’ve got some plans/steps in place for handling the crisis; at minimum, going through standard troubleshooting procedures and calling the necessary service providers (in my example that would probably be your hosting company and/or ISP.)
You call the hosting provider and they tell you (pretend this is Charlie Brown’s parents talking now), “Wah wah wah wah firewall wah wah network wah wah wah system failure.”
How long will it take to fix? “Wah wah 2 hours wah wah wah maybe 3.”
Ok, so you’ve got 6-7 hours to wait…now what?
Assuming you’ve done everything you can with your hosting provider, and it’s out of your hands, the next thing you do is probably curse. Let it out. (Use George Carlin’s 7 words you can never say on television, you’ll feel better.)
Once that’s done you’re probably sitting there hitting refresh over and over on your browser waiting for your mission critical e-commerce site to come back. But it’s not. And, while you’re doing that, you’re absolutely unproductive and all of your to-dos are falling by the wayside.
The best thing you can do is focus on small, easily manageable tasks. Focus on the less brain-tasking to-dos on your list, the mundane that you always put aside. You won’t be able to focus that well (being in panic mode) but you should still get something done, otherwise you’ll waste hours. So try and work on the “chores” you have.
The shorter the chore, the better. That way there’s a better chance you’ll actually get it finished without interrupting yourself a thousand times to check on your downed website.
And when the crisis is over and you can wipe the sweat from your brow (or wherever you sweat from), you’ll have managed to get something done…even during a really really crappy time.
Good luck![tags]crisis, crisis management, productivity, george carlin[/tags]