Nothing is more frustrating than being delayed. In this day and age, the business world moves fast, and time is seldom a luxury that we can waste. We travel through the day, placing check marks next to the things we accomplish, but every now and then, we run into speed-bumps. Some of them are avoidable, some aren’t. But, how we handle these situations will decide if they will slow us down and cost valuable time, or if we will dominate and destroy delays.
Don’t stress about delays
The first step is handling the stress and frustration that come with a delaying situation. We can’t sit and dwell on what’s gone wrong and how it’s hindering our schedule. You have to set your mind to solving the problem. Never let yourself get caught up in feeling sorry for yourself or complaining about the interruption, or you’ll just delay yourself. Rather than dwell on how you’ve been delayed, consider how you can take advantage of the situation.
Keeping your mind focused is the first step to handling ourselves in these situations. Luckily, technology can give us an edge when it comes to defeating delays.
Perhaps one of the most powerful methods to defeating delays is your ability to plan ahead.
Even many walk-in businesses (hair salons and restaurants have made the most use of this) offer an online waiting time that is available for you to time your day. Rather than simply decide to go get your hair cut, you can look up their wait time and set yourself in line while you continue your day. This prevents you from waiting (being delayed) and wasting time sitting idly by. This is one of the most effective time savers, but by using technology to look ahead for traffic jams, bad weather, delayed flights, or even road construction you’ll avoid delays in the first place
Yet, some delays can’t always be avoided. Make the most of it by:
- Bringing along articles to read either on your iPad, tablet, phone or physically from a publication. Get rid of the belief that you need to keep the whole publication intact. Tear out the information you need and put it in an envelope or file that you keep with you as you progress through the day. Any delays – refer to that envelope. This is perfect for those doctor appointments or even waiting to meet a prospective client. Why read what they have out there for you? Use your time to get ahead on your reading.
- Sync with a cloud system so you can still work as you’re waiting. Update documents, enter data and move forward so every delay is manageable.
Getting out of a delaying situation
Some situations are beyond our control. Be sure to have emergency numbers available. I’m not referencing emergency personnel as I am focusing on who do you need to contact with your company if you’re unexpectedly delayed. Have one sheet with a list of everyone that needs to be contacted – whether you do it or delegate it to someone in the case of an emergency delay – you make the most of time not having to search out that information.
Being postponed because of emergency issues isn’t the only source of time lost. Many situations can be handled by being able to contact the right sources. When was the last time you updated your client database, so when you’re ready to contact them you can without delays and distractions?
Keeping a straight head, being prepared, and utilizing your technological edge will help you defeat your delays. Whether it’s through prevention or redirecting your efforts, you don’t have to let delays slow you down if you’re ready to handle them and keep yourself on schedule.
“Lost time is never found again.” – Benjamin Franklin