What to Do When It Feels Like the Universe Is Against You

I’m going to be totally honest with you – it’s been a rough week and a half. Here’s what’s been going on:

  • My son, husband and I have all had a stomach virus, one of those where as soon as one of us got healthy someone else would get sick.
  • A surprise 12 inches of snow landed in my city via a “once in a lifetime storm,” which completely shut down the city for days – and my son’s daycare!
  • As I type this, I’m listening to freezing rain pelt my windows in what forecasters are projecting will be a “major ice storm,” which means we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

I’ve been out of my routine for 10 days, either tending to someone who was sick or being stuck at home because the roads are too treacherous to venture out. As you can imagine, this means that I haven’t been able to get much done when it comes to work. In the past, I would have been really frustrated with the situation, and I may have even questioned whether the Universe was telling me to quit my business!

Now, I’m not going to tell you that there haven’t been moments of frustration, because I am certainly no saint, but because of a few simple systems I have in place, this round of “life feels totally nuts!” has been a lot easier than in the past.

The truth of the matter is that we will ALL have times when our lives get out of control and we can’t work as much as we want to. When that happens to you, I encourage you to try the following tricks so that you can keep moving forward.

 

1. Force yourself to prioritize.

I’ve only been able to work while my son is napping, which means my usual 6 hour work day has been cut to about 90 minutes per day. It would have been very easy for me to let panic and overwhelm take over. Instead, I forced myself to prioritize the “absolutely must happen” tasks each day, so that I was delivering content and serving clients as promised. That way, I was able to make sure the core functions of my business were happening and it was easier to let go of the rest of my to-do list. And speaking of to-do lists…

 

2. Keep an organized to-do list

Even when life feels calm and easy, an organized to-do list makes a huge difference in my ability to be productive. This way, I know exactly what I’m going to be working on each and every time I sit down at my computer. When we aren’t clear on our priorities and on the tasks that move the needle in our business, it’s far to easy to get distracted and find ourselves on Facebook for hours on end, convincing ourselves it’s “research”.

 

3. Find a way to be grateful

I know, I know, sometimes it really does feel impossible to be grateful when life feels turned upside down. But in my case, I realized that I truly AM grateful that I have the flexibility to stay home with my son when I need to. I’m grateful that I don’t have to call a boss and explain that I can’t come in today. And I’m grateful that I can stay up late or get up early to squeeze in the essential work pieces that need to happen every day. Gratitude is so important because it shifts our focus – it helps me go from feeling like a victim to seeing how much power I have.

 

Have you had a time in your life when you just couldn’t get your work done? How did you handle it? Do you have tips to share?

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