My blog is due today.
I’ve been thinking about what to write in my head all week, but I never actually carved out the time in my schedule to jot down my thoughts. Now they’re gone (as are so many things if I don’t write them down)!
My partner, Bill Masters, and I have created a schedule and goals for our new business, and I am determined to stick to that schedule. After all, we’re in the business of making things work, meeting deadlines and making life easier for our clients. So if I don’t start with myself, how can I do it for others? And that means my blog is due. TODAY.
The thing is, I know how hard I work – how many hours I put in on a daily basis (and probably don’t account for), how often I’m thinking through thoughts and processes, what I have to do while trying to manage a multitude of tasks. I am busy, busy, busy. We all are!
Sometimes, I become overwhelmed with what I have to do, and I have trouble getting started. I let myself get distracted, searching for ‘tools’ that’ll help me become more organized. Project management systems, To Do applications; you name it, I love finding new tools and learning about new things. Sometimes, I get sidetracked by a link from a particularly interesting blog, or a Google search that leads me to other blogs, reviews, new products, new services and new applications that will “help me do my job better.” And what happens? It takes me away from doing my job (although, I have the topic now for a future blog: great sites for finding useful tools and apps)!
What I’ve realized, is that to be more effective, I have to make a plan to plan! Huh?!
It got me thinking. I walk my dog every day, early in the morning. 5:30 a.m. early. I am the first to say I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Palm Springs, CA. Surrounded by mountains, palm trees, cacti and awesome beauty. I like to think I am consciously grateful on a daily basis for where I live. But the other morning, I passed a cactus on our walk and noticed a flower bud hanging from it. Now, where we live, I’m surrounded by a particular type of cactus that only flowers once a year and maybe just for a day or two. (I can’t tell you why or much about the cactus, or else I’ll have to go off on a tangent to research it, which will keep me from completing my blog!). But my first thought was, “Damn! I missed the flower!” And then I promptly forgot about it and kept walking my dog.
The next morning, I passed the same cactus – and there was the flower! A beautiful, white cactus flower. I hadn’t missed it! Since that day, I’ve made it a point to look at (and NOTICE) that cactus every single time we walk. As well as all the other cacti around me. I don’t want to miss any more flowers!
It made me realize that I need to apply this approach to my job(s). I need to take time to stop. Look. Think. Plan. I don’t always have to do. If I’m going to be effective and successful, I need to plan for that. I need to carve out time in my schedule to just STOP DOING. And then, I believe, I’ll be able to do more!
So now, I have an approach; an idea of what I need to do; a mantra. And lo and behold, THIS WEEK, I came across this great article: 12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans, written by Angel Chernoff, who with her husband, Marc, has an inspiring website called Marc & Angel HACK LIFE. It was exactly what I needed to read at the exact time I needed to read it! I love every item on this list. I think I can actually practice most of the things on this list, or at least try to do them with more forethought and intentionality.
I need to STOP and SEE the flowers around me. STOP and SEE what it is I must focus on in my work. And only then, move forward so I’m sure not to miss a thing.