Creating an Action Plan When Mistakes are Made at Work

Mistakes. We’ve all made them a time or two. 

It happens! After all, we are only human.

But once we have made a mistake, what can we do to prevent the same mistake from occurring again? 

This week on Episode 152 of Productivity Paradox, I sat down with Stacy, a busy career woman, to talk all about how we can recover if and when we make a mistake, and how to get ourselves back on track to living our best life possible by using the 4 A’s. (Be sure to check out the episode to hear more about those!) 

So today, I want to dial in on one of my favorite strategies to employ whenever I encounter a mistake, and even when I’m doing routine planning and goal-setting for what lies ahead: the action plan. 

We’ve certainly talked about the importance of having an action plan in place when it comes to our goals, both big and small, but how about creating an action plan to help you recover from a mistake in the workplace?

Ideally, your action plan will be designed with your specific job and the responsibilities you have in mind. 

So here, let’s focus on three simple (yet crucial) steps to include in your action plan, no matter what it is that you do in your career.

Let’s dive in!

Overcoming Mistakes at Work: 

3 Steps to Include in Your Action Plan



A mistake was made, now what? 

For me, when I’ve made a mistake (and I’ll be honest, there have been a few), it’s crucial to sit down and evaluate what went wrong, where, and how.

Were you multitasking, even though you likely shouldn’t have? Were you feeling overwhelmed, rushed, or generally stressed out about your job, something in your personal life, or at home?

By pinpointing what went wrong (and why), you will be able to recover from the mistake and find the clarity you need to find a resolution easier.



Naturally, once we have figured out how the mistake came about, the next step is to address the issue head-on. 

What needs to happen to ensure (as best as you can) that the same mistake won’t crop up again? 

If part of the problem is feelings of overwhelm, then would you benefit from having a system in place (i.e., automation, batch-tasking, and so forth) to help you streamline things in your day-to-day? Think about it.

And if you’re having trouble finding a solution to the problem, or a sound system to put in place to ensure that it won’t happen again, then I encourage you to give the Squirrel Strategy a try. 

It’s one of my favorite tools to use when I’m stuck in a rut and need to brainstorm a few ways out. And there’s a reason: it works well!



Whether your job requires you to supervise others on your team, you’re somewhere in the middle, or you’re new to the career ladder, the last tried-and-true step is to communicate the situation to others.

Explain what went on, and the steps you will implement to prevent the same mistake (and those like it) from happening again. 

The more time you’ve taken to assess the mistake from your end, and the more prepared and confident you are in its resolution, the more faith, and confidence you can instill in your colleagues, as well.


What are some of the steps in YOUR action plan? Share a little bit about the steps to your action plan in the comments below.

And don’t forget to:

  • Tune in to Episode 152 of the podcast to hear even more about how we can get back on track after encountering a stumbling block or making a mistake of some kind
  • Sign up for my FREE live video challenge, Let Go of the Holiday Hustle, happening all December long, to help bring more joy into your holiday season. (You won’t want to miss it!)
  • And check out my book, The Joy of Missing Out, where we dive even deeper into some of the concepts you hear talked about on the podcast and here on the blog–and MORE!


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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton