Planning for Hiccups

December 27th, 2019

As you move into the New Year and consider how to kick off 2020 in your business how can you remain optimistic and realistic?

Are you familiar with the planning fallacy? Those occasions when you underestimate the time a project will take whilst also overestimating how quickly you can get things done.

If you are a forever optimist like me it is easy to have a tendency to do this and not make adequate allowances for the aspects of your work that are outside your own control.  You may also make assumptions that others run at the same fast pace as you or care about activities as much as you do.  The result can often be frustrating, as your optimism bubble bursts and your plans are put back.

As you move into 2020 be mindful of which aspects of your work and schedule you have control of and which you don’t.  This can be factored into your initial plans by building adequate time in for the aspects outside your control to occur and for any unanticipated hiccups.

Use of the CIA model can be really useful.  The model states there are

(1) situations you can CONTROL,

(2) situations you can INFLUENCE, and

(3) situations that you must ACCEPT because you can neither control nor influence them.

Richard Tyler ran a Facebook live on this topic two years ago which is well worth a watch and it was shared in the context of reducing overwhelm. 

This model has a wide application and doesn’t just have to be reserved for the times when stress or overwhelm is lurking.  Use it as those hiccups spontaneously arise.

If you can routinely learn to reflect what is happening in your business through the lens of “control, influence or accept”, this will support your planning processes and help you to determine how to spend your resources, energy,  time, effort, and energy in the right places.

Success thrives when you can routinely let go of the things you cannot control.

Accepting that hiccups will occur will help you to manage expectations in all that you do.  While you cannot anticipate what and when they will happen, knowing they are a possibility can reduce the associated frustration when they occur.  Remember that a hiccup is only a short term disruption and when it happens it doesn’t need to derail your long term plan or goal.  It may require you to take a detour, find a new route, map an entirely new journey or the mode of transport to get you there but your destination, if you want it, can remain the same.

Use a hiccup as a nudge to be creative.  Consider if you can control or influence what has happened creatively, and for those hiccups, you have neither control nor influence on, accept and move on in a new and creative way.  Let your mind wander and identify new ideas.

Welcome the hiccups!

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