AngryLadyWe’ve all been there, regardless of whether you’re a plumber, an admin assistant, a project manager, a developer, or a printer;  no matter how hard we try , there are always small ( and sometimes not so small) issues that crop up at the last minute that have to be dealt with.

Sometimes it’s a supplier not having the parts ready. Sometimes it’s critical project members not showing up for a long planned meeting because of illness.

Occasionally however, it’s something a little more than bad luck. Over the years I’ve had the misfortune several times of being placed in horribly stressful situations because of people that deliberately waited until the last minute to place something seemingly urgent, with a massively critical deadline on my desk.

It absolutely had  to have a decision right that second.

In the beginning, I have to fess up, that I fell for it, hook line and sinker. I caved in, allowing myself to be swept away by the panic, worry, and sense of urgency.

And you know what? Every single time that happened I made decisions that resulted in more stress, and an inefficient use of time, and my company bore the brunt of the expenses associated with those seemingly insurmountable moments of crisis.

Even more distressing, I also discovered, that in some  cases , the person in question had waited deliberately for the last minute, because they wanted me to be in that frantic state. They manipulated my sense of decency and loyalty, my drive and sense of passion about my company and products. In other cases, it was simply a matter of bad planning and lack of preparation on their part. Either way, they came to me with drama. Drama that I had not created, and quite frankly did not have the time to deal with.

What you should take away from this story,  is that I have learnt that no matter how experienced you are, it’s never a good idea to make a decision  under the pressure of someone else’s drama.

I have also learnt, that in business, if you are being forced into a corner, and the building is NOT actually on fire, it’s better to walk away without being forced to commit to something you haven’t had time to process fully. Because those deadlines are usually a sham.

Ask yourself – why would you want to do business or work with someone who cannot respect you enough to give you all the facts, in advance as early as possible, and the time to process them properly?

So, practise refusing to panic, and get into the habit of refusing to be drawn into other peoples bad planning, and drama. And you know what, the deals will still be on the table. The work will still come in. Save your adrenalin for the truly urgent genuine last minute crises so they get the proper attention they deserve.

It’s better for your sanity, it’s better for your business, and it’s better for your stress levels and overall state of health and well being.