How do you handle busy?

It's an interesting question because, if you're someone like me, you will have some kind of schedule you like to follow to make sure you get everything done. You also like to try to make sure that you're going to be able to maintain the same demeanor at all times because you don't want to do or say anything to anyone that might come out wrong.

The last 24 hours have been somewhat interesting. I have a deadline to hit by Sunday night, a weekly project I do for one of my clients that I usually space out during the week. Last week, Christmas week, I got ahead and things worked out perfectly. This week, there's been more personal stuff that's gotten in the way.

Nothing overtly bad, mind you, but having a car that won't start certainly gets in the way. That, and the cost of getting it fixed and not getting any sleep and still having to get my project done was one thing. The other is that I got an emergency call from a friend of mine saying her computer had totally shut down, and that she'd pay me to get it working again.

My friends are always paramount, as my family is, and I will find a way to get things done. Still, when you're repairing a computer, time isn't always on your side. There's a lot of "hurry up and wait" because you run diagnostic programs that can take hours, and even if you find one thing, that might not be the thing you were looking for and still have to do something else to make sure all is well.

Not only that, but since computer repair isn't a primary job, I have to use my main monitor, which means I have to pull out the laptop to try to do some things while also paying attention to what's going on elsewhere. That's not conducive to a great working environment, especially when the files I needed to use were on my main computer, which of course was off so I couldn't access them.

I got it fixed, though, and did some other maintenance, and my friend was thrilled. Now I'm behind the 8-ball on my project, but I know that I can still get it done, just not in the manner I normally would have completed things. So, I'm able to still keep calm in the face of a lot of work, which I probably would anyway. I also can just call the client and let them know I need an extra day if it came up; it won't, though.

How well can you perform when things don't go quite according to plan? How do you handle those times, and how well can you proceed? Are you confident in your abilities to recover and get things done, and if you can't are you comfortable in telling someone you need more time?

All of us can only do the best we can do, but if you plan well, even things that get in the way won't derail you.