What to do when your organised life gets disrupted

I love to be organised. It makes me feel in control and there is nothing better than the feeling of knowing I can manage all I’ve got to do and know I won’t get overwhelmed. But, sometimes something unexpected comes along, maybe there’s a sudden work project that needs doing, my children are off school ill, or something unexpected happens and I just need to deal with it. At this point it can be easy for all organisational plans to go out the window, and to spiral into a day of chaos and finish the day completely exhausted and wondering what’s the point in organising anything when it all gets undone so quickly. This blog will look at what to do when things get disrupted, and how to manage.

Take a deep breath

Firstly, just take some time to take a deep breath. This will slow down your heart, taking you from flight-or-fight mode to a state where you can calmly work out a plan of action, decide what is achievable and feel more able to cope.

Be kind to yourself

Whatever unexpected situation arises is possibly not your fault, and even if it has arisen because of something you’ve done, it’s really important to be kind to yourself. These things happen all the time and it’s now we deal with them that matter, so don’t blame yourself and move forwards.

Give yourself a break

There can be as much self-judgement and beating yourself up as you like but it’s not going to help with situation. Take a break and some time to accept what is going on so that you can then tackle it with a clear head.

Accept your emotions

All of your emotions that you feel about your situation are valid. Accept those emotions for what they are and use them as you move forwards. Perhaps you are angry that the situation has occurred? Can you use that energy to channel the situation from a disrupted one into one that it organised again?

Question your thoughts

Whilst I have just written about accepting your emotions, it might be relevant to question your thoughts. Are they justified? If not, let them pass over you. Are they kind? If not, reframe them. Are they helpful? If not, replace them with ones that are.

Find meaning in change

Take time to process why the disruption is happening and find meaning. If you have a child unexpectedly sent home from school poorly, it may mean that your whole day changes quickly. But, the meaning is that your child NEEDS you. You are the one who can make them feel better and give them what you need. That is a privilege.

Reflect on your values

Your values may well help you figure out what course of action you are going to take. If one of your values is honesty then you might want to call anyone that might be affected by your change of circumstance and explain to them what has happened. You will often find that most people are incredibly understanding, particularly if you are upfront from the start.

Stick to your routine where possible

This might not always be possibly depending on the situation, but where you can stick to your routine. The familiarity of a routine may help you feel calmer about your situation, but it also means that you’ll be getting a few things still ticked off your to-do list, which will help you feel less overwhelmed.

Recognise the season

You have worked really hard to live an organised life and reap the benefits of that. This disruption won’t last for ever. There will be opportunities to get your organisation back on track, so recognised that this disruption is only for a season, you’ll be back to you organised self soon.

The next time your organised day gets disrupted, don’t panic. Just relax and remember that it will pass. Take action, anything at all will help, even if it’s just a tiny thing. Then, stay calm, and take some deep breaths. When you’ve done all you can do, that’s it. You can take no more action so until the next day you will have to wait until you can organise again.

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