How to Handle Life’s Little Emergencies

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by Dana on July 26, 2012

This week, I want to talk to you about life’s little emergencies—and what to do when they arise. When I say “life’s little emergencies,” I mean things like getting sick, your child getting sick, your computer crashing or something going wrong in your house, like a flood in the basement or your water heater breaking down. Basically, anything that derails you from your well-laid plans.

The most important thing is not to panic when these things come up. I like to think about something Lifestyle & Marketing expert Marie Forleo often says: “Everything is figure-out-able”—which is so true. Here are my top four tips for getting the chaos back under control.

1) Look at everything that you have planned for the next few days—appointments, deadlines and other obligations—and re-evaluate those priorities in light of the current situation. Only keep what is absolutely urgent on your schedule (keeping in mind that very little in life is truly urgent!). Renegotiate deadlines and reschedule your appointments as needed.

2) Keep everything in perspective. You may feel bad about those things you have to delay for a while. People may be irritated or upset with you. But it is what it is. Will any of those missed deadlines or cancelled appointments really matter to you five years from now? Ten years from now? My guess is that the answer is ” no.”

3) Ask for help. Don’t be a martyr and try to handle everything on your own. Call on your support system for assistance. Important to note: You must get your support system in place proactively before these emergencies arise. Have a list of babysitters you can reach out to, trusted plumbers and electricians who work evenings and weekends (which is when everything typically breaks down!), etc.

4) Make sure you build a reserve of time into your schedule and have extra savings for a rainy day. Having a buffer of time and cash will help you not panic when something unexpected occurs. While you clearly won’t be happy when something derails your plans, you can at least have peace of mind, knowing you have the resources to handle the situation.