One of my favourite quotes is “Life is a series of problems, only interrupted by the occasional crisis.” ~Brian Tracey
Step 1. Determine that you are in fact in crisis and not just dealing with a problem
The day immediately following the loss of my child, my Facebook Newsfeed was full of FML statements about washing machines breaking down and flat tires and my job sucks, worst life ever. They genuinely felt they were in crisis and just having had my washing machine blow up it sometimes feels like a crisis but it’s not. So make sure you actually are in crisis before you start throwing energy at it
Step 2. Know your systems in advance and then do the 3Ds: Do, Dump, Delegate.
When genuine crisis hits, it’s amazing what you can dump that previously felt essential to be done or at least done by you.
Step 3. Track your numbers
Crisis messes with your head and even the most detail orientated person will make mistakes, sometimes really big ones, so track your numbers (money, dates, times). I nearly missed a sales target by $12 even though I was kind of tracking it, I just wasn’t careful enough and nearly missed it by $12
This brings me to my next point.
Step 4. Have a spotter or accountability buddy.
You will make mistakes so you’ll need someone to pick them up. You will forget things, and you’ll need someone to remind you. I said before I nearly missed my sales target by $12. I didn’t miss it because I had my Director ring me probably 20 minutes after I put my order in what I thought was my last order for the month to say ” Hey great order but do your realise …” So have someone there who can back you up and keep you on track
Step 5. Know your Limits
Crisis puts a hug strain on your body so listen to it. Sleep and diet are NOT to be neglected or you will wipe yourself out. My body crashed the month after my baby’s death-break outs, colds, infections, allergic reactions- the first in my whole life! Seriously. Your body is under so my stress you can’t afford to be complacent about this. Know your Limits and listen to your body and look after your health.
Step 6. Cultivate and Utilise emotional supports
A super ugly cry in the bath or shower or with a trusted friend releases a lot of pent up negative energy and can often trigger sleep. I get really sleepy after a big cry, so that can often send you to bed when you probably should have been there anyway. In genuine crisis, people really want to help, let them (See step 2-delegate). If you’ve cultivated emotional supports, utilise them
Step 7. Become the observer.
It’s really hard to get distance between yourself and events when in crisis and I’m not advocating cold detachment. Instead have a kind of catch and release policy. Observe the emotions rise up and hit you, turn you over and then let them subside. You’re not going to avoid emotions but you can kind of manage them.
You’ll notice this say 7 steps to staying on top of things, not in control. I hope this helps you if you are in your own crisis or for you to support someone who is.