Planning for the unexpected 

Many of us have very well laid-out to-do lists any daily plans. However, they do not reflect the reality of our everyday working life.

We will always be interrupted. If our mindset is to accept that we will always have interruptions and surprises, we will be less frustrated when they happen.

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We let our planning focus on the tasks associated with the job. But we don't take into account all the aspects of our job.

Interacting with people can be part of the broader scope of your job. It means that interruptions are not actually non-productive aspects. They are actions that should get folded into the plan for each day.

David Allen

"Your ability to deal with surprise is your competitive edge, and a key to sanity and sustainability in your lifestyle."

Some interruptions cannot be avoided. But, we can talk to people in advance about the best times to pop in. We can also schedule a time when we will not be available and would prefer not to be disturbed.

When creating a to-do list and interruptions at odd times are a given, build a buffer time in for each task. Assume an hour-long project will take 90 minutes. Schedule extra time into your calendar each day for your team to "pop in."

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