What a last week I’ve had, perhaps best summed up with one word (no not that one). The word I am thinking about is “hectic!”

From personal commitments to professional pursuits to the unexpected passing of a dear friend (plus preparing to move residences), I felt like the Universe was trying to tell me something. But what? Either the message was “Slow down!” or “Gee, Paul, just how many bananas can you juggle all at once?”

“Keep focused. Remember your priorities,” I reminded myself. “Don’t sweat the small things.”

Now I’m a firm believer in “you gotta have a plan.” Anyone who’s done business with me knows I love to pull together ideas, objectives, and metrics at the start of any project to get a handle on what we’re doing, where we’re going, and how we’ll know when we’re successful. But you know what? Sometimes life intervenes and what we’ve planned, no matter how right or how good or how enticing, just never happens—at least not the way we thought it would.

Most of the time, we react to these sudden changes with stress and anxiety. But what if we were to take a calmer, more thoughtful approach? What if, instead of panicking, we were to take a deep breath and simply see where life takes us? (Sometimes it’s what you’ve got to do . . . sometimes it’s all you can do.)

Success in business and life in general isn’t always about who’s busiest. Most often it’s about who is smartest with the one finite thing we all have: time. And as far as I know, unless your name’s Doc Brown or Marty McFly (or you’ve got a souped-up, custom Delorean in your garage), they just aren’t making any more of it.

This week, when I got crunched for time and realized I just could not do it all, I realized I needed to prioritize—and that I could do so without feeling guilty, stressed, or anxious.

This week, I realized that to be my most energetic and most productive self, sometimes I have to take my foot off the accelerator.

This week, I re-discovered that’s OK if things don’t go as planned. My week may have been hectic, and it certainly did not go as I originally expected—but I was all the better for it. I rolled with the punches, went with the flow, and re-established long-time personal connections plus explored some professional opportunities that otherwise I might have overlooked had I simply, stubbornly stuck to the plan and the grindstone.

Don’t sweat the small things . . . things have a way of working themselves out, and most often it’s for the better.