Imagine this. You’re getting late to your second interview this month. You were horribly late to the first, and decided to abandon it because let's face it – no interviewer hires a person who comes an hour late to their interview. You look at your beat up watch and it shows you that unless you get to the venue in 2 minutes 23 seconds and 10 milliseconds, you’re going to be late.
A notification bell rings and when you take your phone to view the message, you realize that your hair is a complete mess. Bad hair day. Yes we guys have them too – just not as often as the fairer sex. You think things couldn’t get any worse and …yes you guessed it. You get a flat tyre.
This would be a complete disaster. I definitely wouldn’t want to be in such a situation but I had to bring up such a situation for you to see how it is like to be in a situation in which you need to manage chaos. In this case it’s clearly your fault because you could have prepared in time, but in the moment it doesn’t matter whose fault it is. What matters is learning how to manage chaos.
Many moons ago, I had a student that I greatly admired. He wasn’t the brightest, he wasn’t the smartest, in fact, this guy spent the greater part of the semester at…? I never really knew where he was but I did know that he wasn’t anywhere near school, but the thing was that when it was time for our instructors to display our coursework, he would always have good marks. And they were always better than mine. Always.
How did he do it? I always wondered because I spent most of my time in the library but this GUY would come from NOWHERE and have better marks. (Note that I didn’t say life is unfair and cry, but I took a proactive step to find out how to perform better). I decided to investigate. What I learnt is that the few times he came to school, he made sure that he made the most of his day. He would be intentional.
He had friends who were rather intelligent and would help him out during his times of great need. He knew where to get the right resources. He would be totally chilled when all other students would be panicking. In other words, he knew how to manage chaos. I believe that if he were to be put in the situation I explained in the beginning, he’d walk away with the job + sympathy money. He’s an expert at that kinda stuff.
So how can you manage chaos?
- Be intentional
I got this tip from Patrice Washington (a podcaster…follow this link for more) and what she basically says is know what you want to get done during the day and get it done! When you’re intentional with what you do, this leads to you respecting your time. This will result in you not being late in most cases, and this will prevent most situations that cause chaos that you will need to manage.
- Have good relationships
When you get into trouble, that’s when you need help from people. If your relationships are poor, then I promise you that when you get into a chaotic situation, you won’t like it at all. It will be a rather terrible experience.
- It’s good to just chill
When caught up in chaos, its often those not-so-bright guys that handle the situation best. Most bright people panick. When you panick your intelligence goes from whatever your IQ is to the IQ of a stone. This might not be exactly true but what I’m saying is the reptilian brain kicks in, and that isn’t the most intelligent part of your brain.
Try this next time – breathe in…hold…breathe out.
- Be resourceful
What I mean by this is learn how to use whatever is in your vicinity to come up with the best solution to solve your problem. This includes the internet, asking people the right questions, and not folding your hands and saying I GIVE UP.
- A little bit of planning
A little bit of planning goes a long way. Life throws very unexpected situations at you. COVID is an extreme case, but its an example of how unpredictable life is. Always being ahead of the game will surely help you when chaotic situations come up because you usually have to deal with less than the average person.
That’s about it!
Part of how i'm managing chaos is scheduling posts in advance. So...(drumroll)....I am going to be posting every week on Wednesday. (Before noon...but it's usually around 6.30 in the morning so feel free to head over and check if there is a new post)
How do you manage chaos? Leave a comment below!