Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (Hint: It’s Nearly Always Small Stuff)
My day didn’t start so well this morning. The Wi-Fi was down. This was hardly a catastrophic problem, but nonetheless, for a remote worker who relies on a solid internet connection, it was certainly rather inconvenient.
A quick call to my service provider revealed the problem might be a little bit more substantial than I would have originally hoped — I could be offline for a couple of days. Deep breaths — move on.
OK, I could access my emails from a rather slow mobile data connection. This meant I could reschedule any one-to-one online meetings I had booked over the next few days and keep an eye on anything else that came in from HQ or my clients. Everything else could be done “old school” — over the telephone. The worst-case scenario — my emails might take a little longer to answer than normal.
For anything else that required a little more bandwidth, I would have to rely on the coffee shop at the end of my street. The biggest problem over the next few days was that I was going to be completely wired on caffeine. Anyone who knows me will know that this is a pretty standard state of affairs for me anyway, so I guess it’s just a case of business as normal.
A few years ago, having limited access to the web would have stressed the hell out of me. I would have been constantly trying to reconnect (despite the information from my service provider telling me it was pointless) and wasted a lot of time (not to mention raising my blood pressure a couple of notches) trying to fix the unfixable.
As I get older, I’ve become a little more chilled out. When things don’t quite go to plan, I’m often reminded of an old client whose business collapsed a few years ago. On the day he pulled down the shutters on his warehouse for the last time, he told me: “That was tough, but I learned a lot from the experience and won’t make the same mistakes again.”
He continued: “The good news is, we have our health, and we’re all going home tonight. Nobody has died, and we’ll start working on something new again tomorrow.”
True to his word, he pulled himself up by his socks, worked harder and smarter than he had ever done before, and made a real success out of his next venture.
A Good Problem
I now see the everyday problems we all face in business as opportunities. OK, this situation is preventing me from doing one thing — what else can I do instead?
For me, the lack of a reliable internet connection is the perfect opportunity to create content. Today, I hope to rattle off at least three blog posts, which I will schedule tomorrow when I go for coffee. Then there’s that training presentation I’ve been promising myself I will update for ages now. I’ve also got some other ideas that I’d like to develop a little further without the distractions of the online world. Today could be really, really productive.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
The moral of the story is: Don’t sweat the small stuff and let’s face facts — most of the things that stress us out, prevent us from doing what we want to do and basically get in the way of our working days are normally pretty small.
We just need to find a different route and keep moving forward.
How do you navigate everyday business problems and remain productive? Share your tips below.