Have you ever had one of those days or weeks when each event and moment has been planned and prepared with tremendous care and attention to detail? You are so busy that you have turned down several attractive requests and lucrative opportunities. Suddenly, your smartphone beeps or rings and there is a steady stream of e-mails and voice mails containing apologies, reschedulings and cancellations that result in your best laid plans transforming into an empty schedule that is now free of any commitments.
Have you ever made a commitment only to find that you are double booked and must back out of one of the commitments often at the last minute?
Have you ever had someone commit to you only to discover that they have to cancel at the last minute and you are left either holding the bag or scrambling to find a replacement?
If you experience any of these situations for the first time, your reaction is frustration and disappointment mixed with a healthy dose of uncertainty about what to do next because you probably have no Plan B, that is, no backup or contingency plan.
The late John Lennon was quoted as saying: “Life happens when we are busy making plans”. When life happens and upsets your best laid plans, you feel like you have lost control. Once you have experienced any of the above situations more than once, you recognize the importance of having a Plan B, a backup or contingency plan. A Plan B gives you a sense of control and helps you be prepared for whatever life throws at you.
Your Plan B should contain either a list of names that you can contact or a list of actions that you can take if Plan A does not work out.
Remember in every disaster there is an opportunity. So if you have to go with Plan B instead of Plan A, you may find that things turn out even better than you ever could have expected.
So look at your personal and professional schedules for the next week and make sure that you have a Plan B in place for every commitment.