Effective Ways to Deal with an Unpredictable Schedule

An unpredictable schedule is a chaotic one. And, it can confuse and/or frustrate anyone who experiences such uncertainty. After all, it’s better to know what’s coming and have a heads-up, in order to be prepared. But, that’s not always the case and it can wreak havoc psychologically and emotionally. Eventually, an unpredictable schedule can lead to total burnout. So, read on to learn some of the best ways to cope and take control of an otherwise unpredictable schedule.

Chaos is Counterproductive

Some entrepreneurs claim they really like uncertainty and the surprises associated with “going with the flow.” At least, they may say this to others, but when it comes down to it, aren’t very keen on unpredictable schedules. They’d much rather have their days planned out in order to maximize their productivity and budget their time wisely. These things can’t really be accomplished when schedules fluctuate too much. It’s just not feasible to effectively plan and execute when every little thing is completely on-the-fly.
Workers at the top and bottom of the economic spectrum feel the loss of control dearly, and technology is often the culprit. Whether it’s a buzzing smartphone or software that tracks our whereabouts, the more hard to predict our schedules become, the less real flexibility many of us have. —Harvard Business Review
Although this may work in a micro sense, like during the course of an ordinary day that’s gone a bit awry, or during free time, such as vacation, a truly unpredictable schedule is tumultuous. And this breeds confusion, anxiety, as well as a sense of being out of control. Those simply aren’t good emotions to experience while running a business, so it’s necessary to make adjustments in order to produce a more predictable schedule.

Effective Ways to Deal with an Unpredictable Schedule

The business owners who succeed not only have a vision, but an actionable plan to follow. Of course, it’s not possible to plan out every scenario. But, it is advantageous to take as much control as you can. Fortunately, there are effective strategies for dealing with an unpredictable schedule:
  • Structure your non-work day. The very first thing you need to do is begin structuring your non-work time. While this might seem strange, it helps you to build a healthy habit and there’s no better place to start than your non-working days, which are often free-for-all situations. If you can put even a loose schedule to your non-working days, you can most certainly do that in the office or out on the road.
  • Establish work-related boundaries. One of the most difficult things for any entrepreneur to do is establish boundaries between their free time and their work time. Business owners, by their very nature, are concerned about their companies well-being and take every opportunity to ensure that it’s running properly. But, this all too frequently leaves to work intruding into free time, which can severely detract from personal relationships, particularly when it comes to spouses and children. So, set boundaries for your work and personal times in order to maintain a healthy balance.
  • Allow for work flexibility and continuity. If your schedule changes quite substantially from day to day, that’s okay too. Instead of scheduling and entire day from one appointment or task to another, set aside blocks of time and prioritize accordingly. This way, you’ll be able to accomplish what you most need to, when you are able, instead of trying to pound a square peg into a round hole.
  • Reward yourself when you accomplish goals. As always, it’s a good idea to reward yourself when you accomplish a goal, be it big or small. Part of the process can be redefining or redesigning your schedule to be more predictable and therefore, allow you to be more productive.
What other suggestions do you have? Please take a few minutes to share your own thoughts and feelings so that others can benefit from your experiences and perspective! Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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