While we wish each of our days was comprised of success, sunshine and rainbows, in the real world, most often that isn’t the case.

Be it an unexpected home improvement project, caring for an ill family member or even grieving the death of a family pet, surprise circumstances can really throw us for a loop, including in our business and networking endeavors.

So, just how do you keep moving forward? Consider the five steps below.

1. Take a Time Out

First, give yourself time to deal with the situation. You’ll never be able to focus without devoting some time to healing or calling in the appropriate professional for help with your situation.

2. Put Yourself First

Remember, life isn’t all business. A healthy mix is one of work and play – family, friends and business acquaintances. Do something you enjoy and spend some time regrouping, be it taking a short trip, scheduling a spa appointment, or even making time to read a book.

3. Make Lists

Still a bit foggy on where you need to focus and what tasks you need to accomplish? Make to-do lists for each day and task yourself with checking off the first three to five on that list. It might include planning lunch with a business friend, or attending a full-blown networking function.

4. When You’re Ready to Get Back to Business on a More Full-Time Basis…

Sit down and re-work your calendar and think about how much you can handle from day to day. Be realistic and you won’t be let down, and neither will those you’ve made commitments to.

5. Set Boundaries

You’ve had a discussion with yourself as to what you can handle and when, but now you need to clue others in on that conversation in your head. If you need to turn down an invitation, do it with grace. Remember: you don’t need to go into detail about personal matters. A fellow professional will respect that you have other life commitments and will give you a chance at “next time.”