194 The Biggest Mistake You can Make with a Pivot
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where life throws a massive curveball your way, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of your next steps? I've been there, and I want to share my experience and the biggest mistake you could make when facing a massive pivot in your life.
Join me in this episode as I discuss the importance of adapting to changes and maintaining productivity during uncertain times.
We'll dive into:
- The process of replanning and prioritizing your life in the midst of upheaval.
- Focusing on delegating tasks and embracing what truly matters.
- How to maximize your productivity.
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All right. How many of you have ever gone through a massive pivot? When I talk about a massive pivot, I'm talking about those things that are so disruptive that you're looking at the next several weeks, maybe even several months, of your life and going. I have no idea. This change has just derailed every single thing that I thought I was going to be doing. They are stressful, they cause a lot of anxiety. They can put you in a state of overwhelm. Today, I'm going to be sharing with you the biggest mistake that you are going to be tempted to make when one of these happens, and what you should do instead.
Welcome to the Work + Life Harmony Podcast. I'm your host, Megan Sumrell. I'm the creator of the Top Program and Top Planner, teaching all things time management, organization, and productivity for women. I'm also a mom and wife and, just like you, I'm juggling, #allthethings while running multiple businesses and a family. Guess what? You don't have to feel constantly overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed out. There is another way. When you have the right systems and tools to plan and manage your time, you can live a life of harmony. This is your show to learn from me and other amazing women how to master your time planning an organization to skyrocket your productivity, so you can have Work + Life Harmony. If you're ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, this is the show for you, And if you're new here, I'd love to get you started with my Work + Life Harmony Assessment. All you have to do is DM me on Instagram, @MeganSumrell, with the word Harmony, and my team will send it right over.
Hey there, welcome back to Work + Life Harmony. So today we're going to dive into something that's really, really important to consider whenever you are dealing with a big change, a huge pivot, something unexpected, something that is going to completely disrupt everything as you currently know it, and I really want to share with you the biggest mistake that you can make when this happens and then, most importantly, what you should do instead.
And the reason why this was timely for me to talk about here is I recently went through one of these, and so it's been fresh on my mind navigating through it, and so I thought it would be fantastic for me to come on here and share this with you guys. I get this question a lot. I see it happening a lot with all of the students in my top program when they'll come to me and say, hey, I've done my weekly plan, my monthly plan, my quarterly plan, but then this huge thing happened that derailed everything. All right, so first let's stop and take a minute and talk about what I'm referring to, my definition of a huge pivot. All right, a small change of plans is not what I'm referring to here.
So maybe you were going to go meet someone on Thursday night and then they change it and say let's meet Friday night instead. That's not what I'm talking about When I'm best. To me, that's just a change of plans. Right, we can accommodate, we can absorb those. One of the key things I teach inside my program is planning for uncertainty. So the regular changes, things like that that we're all encountering, that's not what I'm talking about here. When I am talking about a big pivot, I'm talking about something that is such a large change that it is going to impact several weeks, maybe several months of your life. And you go look at the plan that you've put in place and you realize, oh my gosh, this is not going to be doable because of this change.
So what might some examples be? All of a sudden you find out you or your partner need to move Right, like there's a new job opportunity and now, suddenly, you're going to be moving in six weeks. You had no idea that that was coming All right. For some unknown reason, maybe you all of a sudden an opportunity arises I said two first years ago to go through a massive home remodel that disrupted our life for three months. Right, That wasn't in our plan when we were doing that. And another example, and the one I'm going to share with you that I went through recently, this was a smaller one that impacted one month, but it had a kind of trickle tail effect.
Going is I've shared with you all we're doing a hybrid kind of online home-school situation right now. We decided to do that in the middle of her school year and I had some other venomous communication and I had thought that the last day of school was the first week of June. I had done all my planning for that, only to discover at the end of March I was wrong And the last day of school was an entire four and a half weeks earlier than what I thought And I'd already done my planning, which meant I thought we were still in school mode for the month of May, which is a very different schedule for me And then all of a sudden was realizing no, we're actually starting summer break in May And I didn't have plans to accommodate that. All right. So for me, that was a big pivot because I was assuming things that I had planned time that I was going to have, et cetera was now no longer going to be available.
So what is the biggest mistake that people make whenever this happens? is they say one of the two things. They say, oh okay, you know what, I'm just going to abandon my plans and I'm going to wait until things quote, settle down to kind of then assess where I'm at and then regroup and create a plan That is one version of it. Or the second is they just say, hey, you know what, I'm going to wait till this time has passed, and then I'll get back into planning again. And I get it. That is our knee-jerk reaction because we basically go from a place of having some certainty to now operating in a place where it feels like absolutely everything is up in the air. So again, we fall into the realm of thinking I can't plan for stuff when I don't know what it's going to look like. So why is this the biggest mistake that you can make?
Well, because of a couple different things. Here's what happens when we do that. So the minute we abandon our plans and kind of say, all right, you know what? I got to wing it a little bit until things quote, settle down again, what happens is we resort back to the more traditional ways of time management, which is the daily planning, reactive way of living, meaning. Every day we wake up, kind of assess the situation, create a big list for the day, and then it's like gentlemen, start your engines, let's see how many of these things I can get done right. And when we fall back into that, that keeps us in that very firefighting, reactive state of mind all day long, where things are popping up and we're just like jumping here, there. You feel like that ball in a pinball machine. Okay that, anytime we're in that way of living, we are in a little bit of that fight or flight mentality, which means that we don't make good decisions.
It's brain science, I'm not making this up. We start to not think very rationally And it also impacts our overall health, sleep, everything. So that's one reason why this is not a good solution. Another thing is we then abandon like, let's say, we've been working on a long-term project or goal And we instantly go Oh well, I got to step back and wait till this stage is over, then I'll get back into planning. The first thing to go is the progress on those longer-term want to, those dreams, those goals, those projects. And so they fall to the back burner. And rarely do we pick up where we left off right, so we lose that moment that we've had. And then, finally, the third thing that happens is we abandon all of our systems and processes that had been serving us, and anytime you stop something, when you try and pick it back up, it's a lot harder than if you just tweak it a little bit to support you.
So let's talk now instead about well, what can we do when one of these huge pivots happen that allows us not to fall into that firefighting mode where we're feeling a little overwhelmed, we're feeling out of control, it's feeling very chaotic, all right. So the very first thing and this is what I went through when I realized that this had happened to me, I was like oh my gosh, I don't know what I'm going to do. My first instinct was well, I'm just going to wing it. You know, it's just going to be a rough month, but somehow we'll just get through. Well, powering through is not a plan, guys. Now I will be honest. I did allow myself a couple days to just freak out, because I know I needed to and I knew I would not be in a point of having rational decision-making. I looked at what my may was supposed to be and now realize this was happening. I allowed myself, but I time boxed it. All right, it's like I'm not going to look at this for two days. I'm going to allow myself to freak out, feel all the feels. Then I'm going to come back with a plan of attack, all right. So when we're ready to actually get into our plan of attack, the very first thing that we need to do is take a step back and say, okay, things feel out of control.
This is a massive pivot, but I guarantee you there is information that you do know in terms of your calendar and your time. So what we want to do is we want to assess and capture okay, what are the things I do know in terms of my calendar, my schedule, my time, etcetera. All right. So, with my example, one of the things I did know was when we shift into summer, my daughter's going to be sleeping in, right? So I started taking a step back to say, well, I do know that if I just shift and get up one hour early for this month and I know that she's sleeping in I actually know I could get three hours of uninterrupted time to work on the projects. That needed to happen every single morning before we're even launching into the day. So there's something I do know. I do know that I could have those three hours. I also went and looked at my calendar and I could see I did see that I had currently two weekends in the month of May where we didn't have things booked. We kind of had an open weekend.
So, as you start going through this, I also knew of some trips that I had to make. So, as we start collecting the information, that we do know what this is doing is, this is now taking our first step into replanning. So, instead of saying, well, forget it, I'm just going to power through and get through the month of May, or I'm just going to power through that move, we'll figure it out as we go And once we're moved and settled, then I'll start replanning again, no, what we're going to do is we're going to stop. We're going to assess what do I have control over. What information do I know? That is certain. I'm going to plug that in. And now my next step is to say, okay, you know what? now I'm going to create a new plan based on the knowledge that I have. Now. There are a lot of detailed steps that I teach inside of the top program What a step-by-step monthly planning process and step-by-step weekly planning process looks like. And so for me, since mine was in one-month disruption, I took what I did know, and then I went back to the foundations of monthly planning And I said all right, I'm going to re-plan the month of May with the knowledge that I now have, and this knowledge includes what is my actual budget of time, how much time do I actually have compared to what are my have-to's, what are the things that absolutely have to? no questions ask it done in the month of May.
And now, with those two pieces of information, I can start to re-plan. Now that might mean, as it did for me, delegating some things, letting go of some things, some things I was like well, I thought I was going to do this, but you know what I'm not, and I'm going to be okay with that because I'm going to revisit them in June when this kind of disrupted one month happens. But what has happened with the re-plan is I may not be making as much progress on some of the goals and projects that I've had, but I'm intentionally choosing not to abandon them. I'm just minimizing the amount of time I was going to spend on some of those to trade it in for places where my time is now going to be prioritized elsewhere Now, once you've done this re-plan. So the step one was again assessing what do you know, what do you have control over, what can you put in place with some level of certainty.
Step two now we're going to create plans based on that current knowledge. And then step three is, as you move into that. So, as May started to happen to me, the first week of May, the second week of May, at the end of every week I was going back and updating as needed, meaning assessing what happened last week. Did my plan work well or do I need to adjust based on what I've learned for the following week And do I need to shift anything around for the month as well? So I have not abandoned my plans. I have not completely thrown away everything that I thought I was going to do, waking up with a sense of a little bit of panic every morning, going I don't know how I'm going to get through this month. I don't know how I'm going to get through this month, right? No, instead, it was a very thoughtful assessment of what information did I know. I created a plan based on the knowledge that I had and then gave myself the grace to learn from it and tweak as I moved through the month of May. Now, how did the month go? Did everything from my initial plan happen?
No, guys, of course not, but here's what I can say did happen. The things that were most important got done in a stress-free way. I had to let go of some things that weren't as important, but it was an intentional decision, so I didn't have them creating stress for me, with me thinking oh, what am I going to get done? I very comfortably said it's not going to get done and I'm going to move this into June or July. So, instead of living an entire month of feeling very reactive, very out of control, and responding to things that were most urgent or in front of my face at the given time, I was able to very comfortably let certain things go and then shift my time and energy into the things that had changed, that were now more important for me in the month of May, which for me meant being more in mob mode and less in business mode. So I just wanted to share this with you, because we're all experiencing these kinds of massive life changes, huge events, something that disrupts our plans.
But the best way that you can help work through them to minimize the stress that often comes with one of these large pivots is to lean into your planning and understand that the benefit that you are going to get out of it is going to be 10x for both your mental and your physical health because it is going to help reduce the anxiety and stress that often comes with pivots.
Now, if you are someone that is in a place of life where you do have a lot of uncertainty as part of your daily living, outside of even these massive pivots, if you have not had the opportunity to check out my free training on how to plan, manage and organize your life, even with a crazy and unpredictable schedule, I encourage you to go check that out. It's 100% free. All you need to do is go to theworklifeharmony.com, sign up for it and I will deliver the link to that free video training right to your email inbox. So happy replanning as needed, and I will see you back here again next week.
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