Life is full of surprises, true, but there are plenty of things that we get stressed out about which we could have predicted and made less painful if we'd only planned a little bit. You can dramatically reduce your craptastic moments by following this simple practice:
- Look at what's coming up on your calendar and to-do list.
- Think about what you'll need to make it go right and about what could go wrong.
- Look at the equivalent past period of time and think about what was less than optimal.
- Think about how you could avoid or reduce hassles.
- Implement as many of those positive changes as possible.
- Confirm that any preparatory to-do's are properly noted on your list, especially anything that requires an errand.
It's so simple, but we all see people failing to do this. That guy at the DMV having a hissy fit because he's been waiting in a line and didn't bring anything with him which would allow him to turn that into productive or enjoyable time? Don't be that guy. That gal running all over town on her lunch break trying to find a present for a birthday party she's attending right after work tonight? Don't be that gal.
It's really not hard to steer yourself clear of a lot of pain.
Once a month have everyone in your household sit down together with their calendars and quickly go over the next six weeks and the past six to make sure everything that impacts any other people is known and what works well gets learned. Everyone should know when there are houseguests coming, when they need to give someone else a ride or otherwise be available for assistance, or similar significant features in the domestic landscape.
Once a week do the same look-ahead for yourself with your work and personal calendars for the next and past month.
At the end of each day, do a look-ahead for the next morning, noting commitments and writing down any loose threads from now that you want to pick up again then.
Set yourself up for happy calm, it won't always work, but it's always worth it when it does.