OK! Quick questions for you: How many times have you been in situations where things just didn’t work for you? Or that day, when everything seemed to be going? Or that project, where you couldn’t get the work done right?
Well, a few weeks back I had to go for not just one but two pitches, (Oh! The time when it pours, it pours). I was super excited and kicked to present my work and hoping that I’d get the work, however, a few days before the pitch my laptop started getting, what I call, as “panic attacks.” The OS in my laptop got updated and since then the software in my system started acting up. My internet stopped working, my office tools didn’t function and I couldn’t access some of my files. I was practically staring at my screen, almost in tears, thinking what am I supposed to do NOW. It was a disaster! I experienced Murphy’s law at it’s best. And even though I am a good planner for pitches and my time… things do happen at times. I was a mess because I had to transfer all my data to another device and nothing seemed to be working. It was chaotic Murphy’s law at its best.
If you’re not familiar with the law, this is what it says, “if anything can go wrong, it will.” And it has from time to time. haven’t we all experienced it? So, when such a situation arises, do we put our heads under the ground and become an ostrich? Of course not. There are different ways of dealing with the situation. So, when Murphy’s law appears, I have to be prepared and this is what I do, hope it helps you too –
- Bring out my plan B with an A game: So, I define ‘A game’ as something that requires you to be your best possible and most productive version at all times. So when a situation demands Murphy’s law and you know it, have your plan be ready ahead of time. Your plan B will enable you to storm out of a storm, smoothly. I already had prepared a few things that allowed me to keep my calm, not lose my temper and continue to deliver results. I had already anticipated the situation and I knew what I had to do, kinda like a fire drill.
- Breathe: When I say breathe, I do mean breathe. In that moment when everything seems to be going wrong, it is best to do pranayam. Pranayam is the meditative process of breathing, you need to simply take a deep inhalation and even longer exhalation. This is something that my yoga teacher introduced to me. Pranayam actually heels the body’s fight and flight syndrome, scientifically. When you practice pranayam, it immediately leads to a rush of oxygen in the body and helps heal the body mechanism. It allows us to be more mindful of our situations and find solutions effectively.
- Realize it can be fixed: Of course situations can get tense if we need to deliver something tomorrow and our system fails the day before. But nothing lasts forever. Quick and good thinking lies understanding that if something is too time-consuming it would be better to really happen at a later date. Nevertheless, the truth lies in understanding that situations can be controlled and fixed in time.
- Focus on solutions rather than the problem: I had read somewhere that it would take more time to fix something than finding an alternative. Although I would argue that it depends on the situation… in this case I would say, if we’re on a deadline and you are experiencing problems, there can be an effective solution. You need to alternate to understand what in that moment can be done to quickly get the job done. Sometimes that could mean troubleshooting the main problem, or it could also mean finding alternative solutions. So instead of focusing on the problem and telling your brain “what the hell… what the hell… I’m doomed.” find solutions and be a problem solver. You can figure it out.
- Just engage with the task at hand: By now you would have figured that the problem will only get solved once you engage with it. What I mean is that you actually make sure to work around the situation and take one step at a time to solve your problem. I know it sounds easier than it’s done but believe me, you’ll be more clear when you start engaging in the process of problem-solving.
Now, let’s hear it from you. I’m sure you’d have experienced Murphy’s law at some point in life or another. Why don’t you share your experience in the comments below? Also, share if you have some effective strategy to deal with such situations? Or do you get in panic mode? Mention in the comments below…
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