Advertising
Advertising

5 Steps to Fixing It When Life Throws You a Curveball

5 Steps to Fixing It When Life Throws You a Curveball


    You’re cruising along at work, or home hanging out. You’re having a perfectly fine day, when — whammo — something comes out of nowhere and seriously messes it up.

    I’m not talking devastating, earth-shattering events, I mean those zingers that ruin your mood and your groove.

    Advertising

    The hot water heater breaks, or your puppy makes the new rug its personal commode. Your blog goes down just as your latest post goes viral on Twitter. Your boss tells you she needs that report before you go home, as you were packing up for the weekend.

    Any of this sound familiar?

    You work hard and live right, but sometimes life throws you an annoying or time-consuming curveball, despite your best efforts. It happens to everyone.

    Advertising

    But it makes you mad, or anxious, and it doesn’t feel fair.

    And you’re right – it’s not. But it’s life. So before you throw up your hands and call the day a loss, here’s how to take care of it and move on with grace:

    1. Acknowledge that whatever happened is no fun. Say it out loud, with feeling: “This SUCKS.” Better yet: “This sucks.”  Feel free to flail your arms or jump up and down for emphasis. (If you’re at work, make sure you do this in private!) Here are other ways you can let out your frustration.
    2. Take a few deep breaths. Feel your blood pressure dropping. Take a few more. (Or try these de-stressors.)
    3. Ask yourself: Will this thing kill you or anyone you love? Will it bankrupt you? No? Then you’re fine. Annoyed maybe, but fine.
    4. Think about the big picture. Will this glitch matter in the long run? Probably not. It might slow you down a bit, but it’s probably not causing irreparable damage.
    5. What can you do right now to fix the problem? Do it now. (Call the plumber, run to the store for rug cleaner, contact your blog host, make a cup of coffee and finish the report.)

    Now you’ve taken care of the immediate problem, but you’re still stewing. Here are a few more tips to set yourself straight:

    Advertising

    • Sit down with a notebook and write out the good things that happened in the last week or so. You’ll see that this curveball is just a blip.
    • Take care of something else that needs doing. It can be small, but something so you feel like the day wasn’t a total waste.
    • Get your mind off it. Work out, call a friend, read a magazine. Obsessing doesn’t do any good, and every time you catch yourself, redirect your mind. Think how you’ll laugh about it later. It’s a cliché, but it’s true.
    • When it comes down to it, you just have to let it go. Take a walk or a bath, have a cup of tea or a glass of wine, get a good night’s sleep, and start fresh tomorrow. That’s the beauty of life: you get a do-over, every single day.

    The truth is, the more you deal with these kinds of issues the better off you are. Not that I want anything less than unicorns and rainbows for you, but there’s power in experience.

    After you handle a few of these with efficiency and aplomb, they won’t upset you so much when they come up next time. You’ll zip right through and move on to the rest of your day. Congratulations! You’ve become a person who gets stuff done, no matter what.

    How do you deal when life throws you a curveball? Let us know in the comments!

    Advertising

    Hit the share button if you found something useful!

    (Photo credit: Baseball in the Infield via Shutterstock)

      More by this author

      5 Steps to Fixing It When Life Throws You a Curveball

      Trending in Lifestyle

      1 How to Get the Best Deep Sleep (And Why It’s Important) 2 How to Practice Meditation for Anxiety and Stress Relief 3 How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators 4 12 Sad Things That You Should Learn to Be Grateful For Instead 5 7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on September 16, 2019

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

      Advertising

      • (1) Research
      • (2) Deciding the topic
      • (3) Creating the outline
      • (4) Drafting the content
      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
      • (6) Revision
      • (7) etc.

      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

      2. Change Your Environment

      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

      Advertising

      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

      Advertising

      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

      6. Get a Buddy

      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

      Advertising

      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

      Reality check:

      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

      More About Procrastination

      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

      Read Next