I have the secret to planning out my day as an IT Support Technician. Stop.

Just stop. There is no amount of planning and scheming to make a day where the entire job is to respond to calls for help orderly. There is no Getting Things Done scaffolding to wrap my day in to make it better. There is no way I can have a tidy list of tasks and an order to them. It’s just not going to happen because the only constant is change.

I used to work for a print shop. It was my job to run copiers all day. I produced the customer’s print jobs and managed the queue of work. Every morning, I’d attend a daily planning meeting. We would go over the work we had in, the work we expected and set up a queue. We met every morning at 9am for about 30 minutes.

By 10am I had thrown out the plan because everything changed.

That is the life of a Customer Service Representative or IT Support Technician. (These jobs are the same.) no matter what the plan says, the overriding principle is to serve the customer. We are here to fix problems and make customers happy. And people don’t work on a schedule. They don’t care how many things you have to do or what you’re in the middle of or even how your day is going. When they call for help, we answer. Because that’s the job. That’s why we’re here.

I learned to top trying to plan out my day. There’s no system in the world that will bring order to the chaos of working with people. My failing wasn’t in not finding the right system, but in thinking any system would work.