3 Tips to Help You Manage Emergencies

3danimation lower stress projectmanagement tips Aug 30, 2023

When was the last time your life was in danger at work?

Yet, how often have you heard the terms ''911'' and ''emergency'' this week alone?


According to the Cambridge Dictionary, an emergency is: "something dangerous that happens unexpectedly and requires immediate attention to avoid harmful results."


Dangerous? Harmful? Animation and visual effects production?




Here are 3 things to keep in mind to help reduce stress for yourself and your team in ''emergency'' situations


1. It's not a 911; it's a hot potato.


The terms ''911'' and ''emergency'' trigger your fight or flight response, a stress response shaped by evolution to help our ancestors survive dangers and threats.


Is your survival at risk at the studio?


Probably not. And yet your flight or fight response is most likely triggered daily by ''emergencies''.


Then the situation is most likely important, a priority, something essential to be addressed. Saying ''this is a hot potato we will be addressing as a priority'' is a lot less stress inducive than calling it a 911. 


You can lower stress for yourself, your colleagues, and your clients by being mindful of your words and their impact on their well-being.



2. Is it really that urgent?


''Emergencies'' and false emergencies happen unexpectedly. They add an element of surprise to an already full to-do list. We tend to want to resolve it immediately so that it stops existing because it creates stress for us and our colleagues. We totally get it.


That being said, an emergency is something dangerous that requires immediate attention


Does this situation, request, or challenge need to be fixed within the next 60 minutes? Are you sure?  Why? What are the impacts on today's priorities, schedule, work hours, and stress level?


What will happen if we don't address it in the next 60 minutes but plan it for tomorrow instead? Are we putting ourselves in any danger? Can something harmful happen?


Most likely, the answer is no.


Let's plan it, then! It becomes a task, with a brief and a deadline, instead of a grenade that could explode at any time.



3. Expect the unexpected


We said it, ''emergencies'' and false emergencies stress us out because they happen by surprise.


We never know when they will happen, what they will be, how long it will take to fix, and how annoying they might be.


But one thing we know for sure: surprises will happen.


 Such is the nature of creative teamwork. Important, essential and priority tasks will appear out of thin air. Heck, we might even have an occasional true emergency to address.


Then, let's plan for it! Let's make space for it!


If you work an 8-hour day, and you already have 9 hours of tasks planned that day, what are the odds false emergencies will create overtime and stress? If every surprise becomes OT, you will start hating surprises pretty fast...


Surprises, false emergencies, and true emergencies will happen. Let's take them under consideration in our schedule, our daily goals, our planning strategies, and our delivery process. 


And we can easily show you how you can plan the unexpected, but this email is getting lengthy!

Dealing with false emergencies is something we can learn to do. We don't need new software, lengthy leadership accreditation, or expensive coaching to do so.


We can implement free, easy-to-use tools and strategies that take into consideration the challenges specific to our industry. 


And watch our stress diminish, our productivity soar, and our team spirit strengthen.


We are here to help. That's why we created the False Emergency Workshop for animation and visual effects studios that know that their teams' well-being translates into healthier teamwork, a stronger workplace culture, and greater talent retention (to name only a few!).


This 60-minute online group training is available in both French and English; click here for more!


Or book a call with us to discuss your training needs!


Spots are limited for the Fall semester, so don't delay.


The right time to prioritize well-being at work is right now.


With love,


The Happy Producers

Would you like your production to be less stressful and even more efficient?

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