How to Deal with the Unexpected Like a Pro!
<p>I was not supposed to write this article. All my articles until June were ready to be published, but some became irrelevant very quickly following the current crisis. I wanted to share some tips on how to manage the unexpected as I have had to deal with it and found the solutions. Unexpected events are part of life whether we like it or not–despite all our preparation. So, it's important to know what to do when they arrive.</p> <h3><strong>Stay Calm</strong></h3> <p>When the sky falls on our heads and nothing is going right, we need to try to stay calm. I know it's easier said than done, but things won't magically improve if you panic. If necessary, step away, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Stop everything and take a little break to get your thoughts in order. In the moment, it's always difficult. We think the world's going to spin out of control and it's all over. However, we want to remind you that you have dealt with unforeseen events in the past and you survived–you got past it. That will be the case today.</p> <h3><strong>Don’t Feel Guilty</strong></h3> <p>You often feel guilty when something unexpected happens. We think we should have thought about it or we are not competent. You have to get that out of your head. Most of the time, it's not your fault. There is no way you could have known. Could you have foreseen that your caterer would have a flat tire on the day of the biggest event of your career? Could you have known that you would be sick on the day of a conference? The important thing is not the unexpected as such, but how you can react to it. Put on your superhero cape, inhale, and then find a solution. Your customers will remember the situation, but especially the solutions that you were able to come up with quickly. What they like is knowing that they are working with someone who can turn things around in a moment.</p> <h3><strong>Think Long-Term</strong></h3> <p>Often, the unexpected forces us to live in the present. It changes our plans; it feels like the future is falling apart. We are afraid of what the short and medium-term impacts will be on our life. However, as mentioned above, you always end up getting through it one way or another. Just look at the long term. Your situation will not last and soon everything will be back to normal. Take, for example, the loss of a large customer. At the time, we're stressed, it hurts. We wonder how we're going to pay all our expenses. We question ourselves and our skills. After examining the reasons this collaboration ended, why not take the opportunity to put your files back in order and look for other opportunities? You will eventually find other contracts. Sometimes life has a few surprises in store for us that turn out to be for the best–we just don't know it at the time.</p> <h3><strong>Ask for Help</strong></h3> <p>Then, if you feel completely overwhelmed by everything (remember you are a human and not a demigod after all), you have the right to ask for help. You could ask other collaborators or those around you. You can even make an appointment with a health professional if you feel that things are not okay. Sometimes it takes a little humility to ask for help but remember that unity is strength–two heads are better than one. As well, if you notice that you are quite behind on your deadlines, why not delegate or outsource some of your files <a href="https://www.momenteo.com/blog/hiring-subcontractors-as-a-freelancer" target="_blank">to other professionals</a>?</p> <h3><strong>Keep Some Time Available for the Unexpected</strong></h3> <p>One way to reduce the impact of an unforeseen event is simply to put it on your schedule. Project managers or people with a lot of experience often add buffers to deal with the surprises. They know they can't predict everything despite all their good intentions, but they know how to deal with it. For example, if a customer asks you how long it will take you to make a new product or translate a document, consider adding a few more hours than the usual time it would take you. Do this in case you have to deal with an unforeseen event such as a sick child, a computer that crashes or a power outage. It is very difficult to predict these events, is it not? As Michel Bouchard said so well in our <a href="https://www.momenteo.com/blog/portrait-of-a-freelancer-michel-bouchard">freelance portrait interview</a>, it is better to "under promise and over deliver".</p> <h3><strong>Evaluate Your Situation</strong></h3> <p>Once the storm has passed, catch your breath and take a second to evaluate everything. You may want to prevent a similar unforeseen event from happening again in your life; So, if possible, try to understand the factors that caused this surprise. You will then be more prepared and better able to navigate the unforeseen in the future. Take notes and save your assessment so that it is accessible if you ever relive a similar situation. Again, you can reduce the impact of an unforeseen event by having alternative plans–in turn saving you time.</p> <p></p> <p>In conclusion, I hope to have given you some solutions on how to deal with unforeseen events. It's not easy, but you'll see that things will get better over time. Keep going! This situation is temporary.</p> <p></p>