What Happens When Your Week is Disrupted?


It happened to me this week! TWICE!!!
The first was on Monday when my computer had a major malfunction. Some code got messed up in my User Profile, so I could not access anything on my hard drive. That took about five hours of time at the Apple Genius Bar (which by the way was great customer service). But FIVE HOURS out of my busiest day! The day when I teach two different topics that evening... and a session Tuesday morning.

The second was yesterday. I started feeling sick the longer Wednesday went on. When I left about 6:30, I was not feeling good at all. Headache, a bit of nausea, some chills, just general stiffness. So waking up Thursday - no way I was going to make it to work. Scratch that day. Alhtough I did manage to sit around and do some lesson preparation. That beats watching the TV all day.

I had a few take-aways from these two days of "Unexpected, Unplanned Off Time."

ONE
We live in a time of DownSizing (euphemism - Right Sizing) which means those who are still working tend to have jobs that are SuperSized. 

The amount of work is not decreasing . . . I would say the opposite - it is increasing. You are going to have to have the emotional and spiritual energy that sustains you for the long haul in a very busy world. Most people just do not have the luxury of "working less hours." Our culture's problem is Under-employment and Unemployment. We are working at jobs beneath our skill set and financial needs... or we are not working. When you do have a good job, you are going to have to work, and in most cases, work quite a bit.

Just like the internet says: "Privacy is dead, get over it."
The new job market says: "Easy, minimal, satisying, lifestyle sustaining work is gone. Get over it, and get to work."
We may not like it, but the Job Market says, "We don't need you, someone else will do just as nicely."

TWO
If you job depends on a computer
- ALWAYS HAVE A BACKUP COMPUTER.
Yes, you should have your data backed up. But that is not what I am talking about. You should have a backup computer that is up to date with your programs and data. Fortunately I am using the cloud more and more and Google Chrome is my platform for all things internet. That makes it so much easier. I brought my back up computer along and found that I had not done updates for about eight months. That took awhile! Still, I had a backup to use.

THREE
You have got to have Some Margins. I do not easily practice what I am preaching on this one. I have multiple platforms of responsibilty. I had to cancel seven appointments this week. They have to be rescheduled. I am going to have to figure out how to get a few extra in each week for the next few weeks. When those weeks are already low on margin, adding in the extra appointments means MARGINS GO BYE-BYE. In light of Point One above, there are not easy answers. I do not have the abilty to simply say to those people, sorry, I can't reschedule. Or to say, sorry you go to the back of the line and just have to wait. 

I am sitting down and trying to attend to these margin issues.

FOUR
At some point, many of us will have a more "Catastrophic Unexpected, Unplanned Off Time." I have a friend who leads an organization and he was diagnosed with a very serious cancer. Treatment and recovery was long, slow, difficult . . .  There were major repercussions for the ministry. It takes some time for this "Scenario Planning" but if you are in a role of senior leadership, it is very much worth doing.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International
BrianRice@lcileaders.org

LCI - Sympathizing With You When You Have Unexpected Off Time