Unexpected urgent tasks

Yoink! This was me yesterday morning 🥵

I had just sat down, in the zone, carefully crafting my to-do list in the serenity of my child-free office whilst sipping on my coffee, and then…


Phone rings, panicked client, urgent matter…

I looked at my to-do list longingly, knowing my day had just turned to sh*t 😣

So what did I do? 🤔

Well first, I told the client I understood the urgency, that everything would be okay and I was right there to support him.

I then asked him to give me an hour to get myself sorted and gave some instructions to immediately de-escalate and de-risk the situation until then.

✏️I completed my pre-existing to-do list as planned
✏️I assessed each task’s urgency
✏️Non-urgent tasks were pushed out
✏️I postponed my meetings that could wait
✏️I worked around meetings that couldn’t
✏️I tended to a few quick urgent tasks
✏️I delegated some tasks to others
✏️To ensure I eventually got to other pressing matters, I blocked out a two-hour slot in in the late afternoon
✏️I proactively reached out to those awaiting tasks or actions from me, resetting their expectations and being honest about the situation
✏️Finally, I focused on resolving the urgent matter at hand, giving it the attention it needed

Yes, my day was hectic. Yes, I worried that I was letting clients down. But by communicating proactively and setting boundaries, I was able to give the level of support needed to ALL of my clients while also respecting my needs and time.

So here I am today, tacking some of yesterdays to-do list and hoping my phone stays silent – at least for the next few hours! 😜

Do you have any tips to share for when this happens to you?

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