Miriam Miles

Asked this question on 29/10/15 -Business Management

What are your top 3 tips for managing unpredictable issues that affect your workflow?

Top voted answer
Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt Owner at Startup Chucktown

Top 10% Training and Development

  • Flexibility in schedule
  • Willingness to re-prioritize existing work
  • Spending more time on solving the root issue than a quick surface fix.
  • Miriam Miles

    Totally agree with those Jeff! Especially with finding the root cause. It's so easy to get past the initial problem and then assume that it won't happen again. But by taking some time out to asses, we help ourselves down the track!

    Rebecca Carroll-Bell

    Rebecca Carroll-Bell Owner at

    Top 10% Litigation and Dispute Resolution

    1. Knowing that I can often make a time to deal with the unexpected issue e.g. make a time to call someone back, tell them I will have an answer for them by a certain date, and so on. I often find that if you listen to someone, acknowledge their situation then tell them what you will do and when you will do it, that it enough to keep them satisfied in the short term, allowing you to keep control over your time and schedule.

    2. For issues that are beyond my control and expertise e.g. technical or computer problems, I have learned to outsource early. I used to waste so much time trying to figure out how to fix things for myself. Now I am building a team of people who I can call on in times of need to get the problem fixed ASAP.

    3. Communication. Talk early, talk often.If something comes up that will effect workflow and delivery down the track, I contact my other clients/colleagues/contacts and let them know ASAP. By giving as much notice as possible and a little insight into why I need to reschedule or postpone, I find others are a lot more accomdating and supportive.

    Miriam Miles

    Love your answers Rebecca! I agree with delegating early - it's incredible how we are capable of learning so much but that doesn't always mean we can fix the problems just be learning. And communication is definitely key to healthy relationships in the long term. Thanks for your advice :D

    Phil Khor

    Phil Khor Founder at

    Top 10% Copywriting and Content Marketing

  • Add in your daily to do list a time when you deal with certain things. E.g. A time for checking and responding to emails
  • Similar to the first point, if people constantly come to you throughout the day to speak to you, make it a point and make it known that they will need to come back to you at a certain time which you have allocated to such issues
  • I'll have to steal Jef's response here. Don't deal with individual problems. There are patterns and trends. Find ways to systemise everything. The trick is in anticipating problems and planning how you will respond before the issues come up.
  • Miriam Miles

    I agree Phil, understanding where the problems are hiding is worth the time it takes to find them. I read a lot by an author called Andrew Church who talks about this - finding the root cause of the problem and then setting up better systems that inhibit it's recurrence as well as dealing wiht the root in the first place.