Or, to put it another way,  ‘ when everything goes to he** in a hand-basket’!  Has this ever happened to you?

Well, it happened to me last week. I had my week all nicely planned out (after all they say if you fail to plan then you’re planning to fail) and figured that I’d get lots done.  I had promised myself that I would not get distracted by ‘bright shiny objects’, nor would I answer the siren call of Facebook and the interesting links I would find there.  Yessiree, it was to be a no nonsense, let’s get it done week.

Ah how the ‘gods’ must have laughed!  Things definitely didn’t go as planned.  It all started when I got home from a doctor’s appointment (don’t you just love it when your well planned day gets interrupted by a long scheduled appointment you don’t dare miss?) , turned on my computer, opened the first program – and everything froze!

OK, shut it off, left for 5 minutes and tried again.  This time I got the program open, but everything froze when I opened a file and tried to work on it.  Once again, shut it off and left off for an hour this time, then tried again.  Computer started – but when tried to open a program I got that irritating little box from Microsoft that tells me a program is not responding!  Thanks Microsoft – I’d figured that one out myself. But when I clicked on ‘cancel’ I was left with a blank screen, with nothing to click on and no option to shut the machine off!  So once again I had to force a power off.  As it was already getting late I decided to leave it off overnight in the hope that come morning whatever gremlin was messing with me would have gone off to create misery for someone else.

Unfortunately my luck didn’t turn and I had to cart it off to my IT guy (it’s a desktop – which sits under my desk so I had to crawl under my desk to disconnect all the wires before I could take it in to be fixed!).  Long story short – I lost about 3 days of computer access.  My research didn’t get completed and my slide deck for a presentation didn’t get completed.  My plans for the week definitely did not work out!

But all was not lost.  This has happened often enough over the course of my life that I no longer let it throw me or send me to a corner weeping and wailing in frustration.  You see, I have a PLAN to deal with unexpected disruptions!  Since I can’t control the Universe I take control of what I can control – my responses to what’s going on around me.

So here it is, my 7 step plan for dealing with an unruly Universe.  And maybe, if you’re ever faced with a time when you’re plans ‘go south’ , these simple steps will help you eliminate any frustration and anxiety and you can move forward and still get useful ‘stuff’ done.

1)  Take a deep breathe and calm down.

2)  Looking at your current situation, what do you most need to accomplish? What’s most important?

3)  What is within your sphere of influence that you can still control in relationship to what’s important ?

4)  What is totally outside your ability to control?  Once identified, let it go.  Do not waste another moment worrying about it.

5)  What can you still accomplish, in spite of the disruption? And this may be something totally different from what you had planned – but maybe it is as important, or more so than what you had planned in the long term

6)  Take action on your “new” plan.

7)  Celebrate what you now accomplish in spite of the disruptions to your original plans.7


Following these 7 simple steps will enable you to continue to move forward towards what is really important to you, without getting all stressed out over disruptions, no matter how annoying.


So until the next time, THRIVE on !

KDS-H Signiture_Fl yelw_450x329px_BgkEr2





Karen Switzer-Howse

Canada’s Premier ThriveSynergy Strategist