I’m relieved to say that I can count the total number of toddler-tantrums my three kids had on one hand. I was fortunate – but I was also careful. There were some rules I followed that kept my kids cool. If you’re dealing with a business that’s an Unruly Toddler, these rules could help you, too.
Rule 1 – Stick to a schedule. For your toddler: Respect nap and meal times and don’t schedule events that conflict with them if you can avoid it. For your business: Schedule tasks you must do with regularity, like your bookkeeping or returning customer calls, and put them on your calendar to protect the time so you don’t schedule over it.
Rule 2 – Set realistic goals. For your toddler: Don’t plan two hours of errands if you know your toddler has tolerance for one – that second hour will be sheer agony. For your business: Prioritize your tasks in order of importance and do the most important one first. That way, even if it’s the only thing you get done that day you can still go home feeling you accomplished something.
Rule 3 – Don’t burn the midnight oil. For your toddler: It always amazes me to see young kids out when I run a late night errand. It’s a melt-down waiting to happen. For your business: It’s my experience that productivity plummets at a certain point. Even if you’re under pressure to finish something you might be better off getting some rest and tackling the last of it when you’re rested.
Rule 4 – Trust your judgment. For your toddler: If you’re seeing the warning signs, get out while you still can. I’ve been known to leave a full shopping cart (and the store) when I see frustration brewing. Sometimes even a temporary interruption can change the outcome to something more positive. For your business: If it doesn’t feel like the right path, get off the path. Don’t pursue an initiative if you have even the slightest suspicion it might not be the right way to go – at least until you get some advice or have time for additional assessment.
No rule is perfect, but if it can prevent some frustration or embarrassment, it might be worth a try.
How do you head off a tantrum? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org – if I use them I’ll feature your business.