Managing uncertainty involves taking control of project tasks you have authority over. You may find that dealing with the unknown becomes less terrifying if you predict how you will respond to anticipated events. These actions help you stay on target for project completion and reduce stress for all team members. Follow these tips for managing the unpredictable.

  1. Document your team’s values, goals, and strategies. Then, align all your decision options to them. This management strategy allows you to manage better the number of choices you consider realistic for every situation you face. Eliminating unfeasible or irrelevant options helps you make more effective decisions.
  2. Prioritize the work you do, and set realistic goals. By visualizing a positive outcome, you can stay focused on the work required to make it happen. When you plan, you help prevent uncertainties by eliminating distractions that don’t apply to the task at hand. For example, if you’re planning an executive training class for a group of seventy employees, locating a venue that can accommodate that number of trainees should be your first task. Developing materials without a place to deliver the training could be problematic.
  3. Break large tasks into smaller ones. Assign the work to qualified individuals you know can handle the job. You can allow for some flexibility, encouraging individuals to learn on the job, but as a rule, match tasks to people with the appropriate skills and experience. Reduce project task completion uncertainty by ensuring everyone knows what they’re doing.
  4. Accept that plans may not work out. Having a reliable backup plan helps you pivot when necessary. Thwart uncertainty by defining how to handle a variety of events. Take stock of your goal completion progress at regular intervals and react accordingly. You may find that adversity sparks creativity and innovation.
  5. When faced with obstacles, allow yourself time to reflect on your past successes. Reassure yourself regularly that you have what it takes to tackle this new challenge. You may even find that taking a break and doing something completely different opens up new possibilities.
  6. Dealing with uncertainty can make you anxious and cause you to delay making important decisions. Consulting with experts can allay your fears and help you make the right choice. By thinking proactively and positively, you can set yourself up for success. You may also find that thinking about the likelihood of the worst possible scenario may enable you to see that it’s unlikely that the terrible outcome will occur.

To handle the unknown, focus on the present. Keep a log of decisions made, but don’t dwell on the past. Learn from your mistakes to keep track of lessons learned, but move on promptly. When you face adversity, rely on these tips, your skills, and your experience to see you through to a positive conclusion that enables your continued success.