Getting things done often comes down to urgency.
Two days before day camp was about to begin, we found out that our client’s daughter was not correctly enrolled. The camp was packed and although they were willing to accommodate her, she would not be in the same group with her friends. This was unacceptable. She was signed up months ago. I spoke with the client and let him know that I would not take no for an answer. This proved to be trickier than I had imagined – they were not budging.
How do you manage to do something when there is an immediate deadline? When the test is tomorrow – do you study harder and figure out how to get to the library? When the birthday party is today do you figure out how to get the gift so your child doesn’t show up empty-handed? Or, when you arrive at the dry cleaner just as he is locking the door, but you need your dress for the next day before you get on a plane…. what do you say or do to make sure they open the door and let you in?
What works when you absolutely need to get something done? Being nicer to people. Doing whatever it takes. Setting aside more time so that we make sure that we fit in whatever it is that must get done. We don’t take no for an answer.
After many calls back and forth, speaking with managers and directors, we came to an agreement that yes, they would move her to the group with her friends. I believe what worked was when I took a step back and looked at it from their perspective- why they would want to make the change. And although they would have a larger group, it might just make life easier all around to have a happy camper.
We all know how to make things happen in crunch time -the trick is to get things done quickly and efficiently when there is no immediate deadline looming.
So, act as if it’s urgent. Get the gift when the invitation arrives. Pay your bills as soon as you get them or set them to pay automatically. Start to do things earlier than planned and watch things get done easily and the chaos turns to calm. You will always have things on your to do list – you’ll just have more time to get them done.